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Barkley__Rosser comments on "Inductive Bias" - Less Wrong

21 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 08 April 2007 07:52PM

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Comment author: Barkley__Rosser 10 April 2007 06:14:47PM 0 points [-]

Eliezer,

Ah, so you are a constructivist, perhaps even an intuitionist? Even so, the point of such theorems is that they can happen in a long transient within finite constraints, with the biggie here being the non-connectedness of the support. One can get stuck in a cycle going nowhere for a long time, just as in such phenomena as transient chaos. With a suitably large, but finite, dimensionality and a disconnected support, one can wander in a wilderness with not much serious convergence for a very long time.

I find the idea of a "prior learning" to be a bit weird. It is an agent who learns, although the prior the agent walks in with will certainly play a role in the ability of the agent to learn. But the problem of inertia that I raised has more to do with the nature of agents than with their priors.

Getting to the raison d'etre of this blog, the question here is does bias arise from the nature of the prior an agent brings to a decision or analytical process, or is it something about the open-mindedness or willing to adjust posteriors in the face of evidence that is more important? Presumably both are playing at least some role.