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pnrjulius comments on That Alien Message - Less Wrong

111 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 May 2008 05:55AM

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Comment author: pnrjulius 09 April 2012 05:18:44AM 0 points [-]

We can already make computers "know" in that sense (lots of computer software uses the fact that 2+2=4 all the time!). It's like when we say "The printer doesn't know that you want to print double-sided"; it's a shorthand, but it's a really, really effective shorthand that clearly captures a lot of the important phenomena---which means that in a certain sense maybe it's not a shorthand at all. Maybe a printer can actually "know" things in a certain non-conscious sense.

I can't think of any good reason why a hard takeoff is IMPOSSIBLE either---just a lot of reasons why it's really, really unlikely. No other technology has had a hard takeoff, Moore's Law is empirically validated and does not predict a hard takeoff, most phenomena in nature grow exponentially and that does not allow for a hard takeoff, humans will be inventing the first few stages of AI and neither know how to nor desire to make a hard takeoff... At some point, it becomes like arguing "I can't think of any reason why a nuclear bomb hitting my house tomorrow is impossible." Well, no, it's not impossible; it's just so unlikely that there's no point worrying about it.