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michael_vassar3 comments on ...Recursion, Magic - Less Wrong

13 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 November 2008 09:10AM

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Comment author: michael_vassar3 25 November 2008 06:09:35PM 3 points [-]

I have been an office worker using easily documented approximate solutions generated via algorythms to do what my grandparents generation would have done with provably correct logical solutions to the same problems. They would have taken less time in some respects and more in others. On net, I'd guess that we weren't even 10% more productive. We generated many so-called "solutions" in the time they would have taken to generate one solution, but their solution would have been the correct solution while our procedure would be to then choose one of our many solutions for political reasons. We didn't take less time per project. We had more secretarial staff. We accomplished the same sort of work, and we did a worse job. Maybe 1/3 as productive over all?

Obviously, the tools we used could have been used to increase productivity, but could have != did. This phenomenon, as well as very rough measures, may explain the supposed uniformity of growth rates. An AGI with shared goal content and closed loops of self-improvement would not have the same difficulties as an economy in this respect and might plausibly be expected to show significant growth rate increases from insights on the level of the mouse.