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billswift comments on Above-Average AI Scientists - Less Wrong

22 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 28 September 2008 11:04AM

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Comment author: billswift 28 September 2008 08:12:12PM 2 points [-]

"The benefits humanity has received from innovations have mostly come about through gradual improvements in existing products rather then through huge breakthroughs."

Except that the gradual improvements cannot occur without the breakthroughs.

"Eliezer: If you are a level below Jaynes, Evolution is at least a hundred levels below the average engineer. What happened to the small gap between Village Idiot and Einstein?"

Small differences can have very big effects.

"Under either your (1) or (2) passable programmers contribute to advancement, so Eliezer's Masters in chemistry guy can (if he learns enough programming to become a programming grunt) help advance the AGI field."

Without geniuses to guide their work, less intelligent persons are not going to make progress where new thinking is required.

"The best way to judge productivity differences is to look at salaries."

In modern industrial societies, the most highly creative and productive people (and investors) are grossly underpaid relative to the majority of people.