Re: [sl4] to-do list for strong, nice AI

From: Luke (
Date: Tue Oct 20 2009 - 12:16:49 MDT

@Pavitra: thanks for reminding me of that. It's true - there's a lot of
talking that needs to get done before we can throw out the haiku of FGAI
design. I accept this fate, this large-scale discussion, though I can't
promise I'll read everything before I respond. Not enough time for that.
@Matt Mahoney: Two points, as follows:

(1) With regard to a definition of friendly AI, and how it needs to
encompass all those bits, I've got a big problem there. (a) That's
impossible. So we either need to find a way around that intractable problem
(i.e. a smaller definition, within the 10^5 bits range or something, 10^2
would be great but that's obviously wishful thinking), or we need to accept
that we're not going to be able to proceed, and start "saying our prayers"
or seeking "enlightenment" or stocking up on heroin or whatever else we need
to do to face death. This is a completely serious point: if we decide we
cannot hope to produce this friendly AI, it's better to accept that as
quickly as possible and decide what we want to do with this short stay
between the birth canal and the grave.

However, as a programmer I'm tempted to point out that often you don't need
to see the bits that represent an object, but merely the bits that represent
its interface. Let someone else worry about implementation.

(2) You said that a test-giver has to be more intelligent than a test-taker.
 I don't think that's necessarily the case. For instance, what if the test
consisted of: "We're dealing with RSA. Here's an encrypted message, and
here's the public key that encrypted it. What is the private key?" It
might take massive computational power to "take" that test, i.e. break the
code. But it takes orders of magnitude less to both generate the encrypted
message, and confirm any answer the test-taker provides. This is quite
similar to the problem of theorem-provers mentioned above. Another example
of a test could be: "Here's a lab full of standard stock ingredients.
 Create something that will make me trip. I will give you your grade one
hour after you deliver your answer."

As a final point: I'm going to go ahead and put the to-do list up online.
 I warn I'm going to lean heavily on real-world applicability, so we might
see a constant resonance between mathematical definitions and what I
consider "executable" actions. I'll be putting up steps like "raise
$20,000,000 to fund research" and "create a computer with 700 TF to perform
tests" and the like. Others can focus on the mathematical rigor necessary
at various junctures. Defining waypoints as mathematical objects, and the
interconnecting strategies as meatspace man-hours, may be our best bet.

 - Luke

On Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 11:22 AM, Matt Mahoney <> wrote:

> Luke wrote:
> > Alright, it is no wonder you guys can't get anything done. I start a
> single thread, with a single, simple purpose: to trade versions of a single
> document: the to-do list. And you all can't resist the urge to get into the
> most arcane, esoteric mathematical bullshit imaginable. "Degree of
> compressibility". "Test giver must have more information than test-taker".
> wank wank wank.
> Because your checklist is wrong. Specifically, the first 3 steps are wrong.
> This invalidates the last 2 steps that depend on them. To quote:
> >>>
> This document implies dependencies only insofar as each step's dependencies should appear before that step. Note that other sequential orderings are possible while maintaining this constraint.
> [ ] Compile design requirements for "friendly AI". When will we know we have succeeded?
> [ ] Develop automated tests which will determine whether a given system is friendly to humans or not
> [ ] Develop automated tests which will determine whether a given system is intelligent or not (IQ, whatever)
> (these tests should reflect the requirements laid out in the first step: "compile design requirements")
> [ ] Develop prototype systems and apply these tests to them. Refactor tests as necessary in the case we find that some requirement is not specified in the tests.
> [ ] Continue refactoring prototypes until we have a system which passes both the intelligence tests and friendliness tests.
> <<<
> 1. The definition of "Friendly AI" has an algorithmic complexity of 10^17
> bits. Roughly, it means to do what people want, with conflicts resolved as
> an ideal secrecy-free market would resolve them. So your definition has to
> describe what 10^10 people want, and how much they want it, which means your
> definition must describe what they know, and each person knows about 10^7
> bits that nobody else knows. My definition is cheating, of course, because I
> am pointing to human brains instead of describing what they contain.
> Also, I haven't defined "people". Does it include embryos, animals, slaves,
> women, and illegal immigrants? (Don't give me an answer that depends on your
> cultural beliefs). Does it include future human-animal-robot-software
> hybrids? Do all people have equal rights or do we weight rights by how much
> money you have like in a real market?
> 2. You can't test for friendliness unless you already know that the tester
> is friendly. How do you know it isn't lying?
> 3. You can't test for intelligence unless you are smarter than the test
> taker. Otherwise, how do you know that it is giving the right answers?
> So the result is we will find another way to build AI. There is a US$1
> quadrillion incentive to get it done. That's the value of global human labor
> divided by market interest rates.
> Just in case you haven't noticed, the internet is getting smarter.
> -- Matt Mahoney,

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