Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Will_Pearson comments on My Childhood Role Model - Less Wrong

29 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 23 May 2008 08:51AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (59)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Will_Pearson 23 May 2008 09:31:42PM 1 point [-]

I've read Fire on a deep and Diaspora. I have some idea of the powerfulness of intelligence you invisage, I do think something like the flowering of the blight is possible. However it is very very unlikely that anyone on earth will do it.

I think it as likely as people working on vaccines creating a highly virulent strain of a virus that incubates for 2 years and has a 100 percent mortality rate. Such a virus is seems to me possible but highly unlikely.

It boils down to the fact I don't think simple bayes is Power-ful in a blight fashion. Attempting to use a universal searcher is prohibitive resource wise. The simplest best theory we have for precisely predicting an arbitrary 12 grams of carbons behaviour over time requires avogadros of data for the different degrees of freedom of the start state, the electron energy states etc. To get one avogadros worth of data through a gigabit connection would take 19 013 258 years.

So you need to make many short cuts. And have heuristics and biases so you can predict your environment reasonably. So you only run statistics over certain parts of your inputs and internal workings. Discovering new places to run statistics on is hard, as if you don't currently run statistics there, you have no reason to think running statistics over those variables is a good idea. It requires leaps of faith, and these can lead you down blind alleys. The development of intelligence as far as I am concerned is always ad hoc slow and requires complexity, intelligence is only very powerful after it has been developed.