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DSimon comments on No Evolutions for Corporations or Nanodevices - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 November 2007 02:24AM

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Comment author: DSimon 16 August 2011 05:04:50AM *  1 point [-]

I get the feeling there's an obvious answer to this, but: why is it necessary to have a full-on encryption system for each nanomachine's assembly instrutions, with all the decryption overhead that implies? Wouldn't something like CRC, or one of the quicker hash functions, be a much easier way to prevent accidental changes between generations?

Comment author: SimonF 16 August 2011 01:02:28PM *  10 points [-]

My guess would be: If the integrity check gets corrupted, the mutated nanomachine could possibly "work", but if the decryption routine gets corrupted, the instructions can't get decrypted and the nanomachine wouldn't work.

Comment author: DSimon 16 August 2011 07:53:43PM 0 points [-]

Hm, makes sense. I suppose I was imagining that if the parent is already at the point where it's doing the assembly, then we already know from earlier that the parent is correct, and the verification issue now only applies to the child machine.

However, I hadn't considered the possibility that the parent's data could get mutated after the parent's assembly, but that would certainly be possible, and create a single point of vulnerability at a simple integrity check's implementation.