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

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

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 November 2008 09:03:32PM 6 points [-]

You speculate about why Eurisko slowed to a halt and then complain that Lenat has wasted his life with CYC, but you ignore that Lenat has his own theory which he gives as the reason he's been pursuing CYC. You should at least explain why you think his theory wrong; I find his theory quite plausible.

Artificial Addition, The Nature of Logic, Truly Part of You, Words as Mental Paintbrush Handles, Detached Lever Fallacy...

You really think an office worker with modern computer tools is only 10% more productive than one with 1950-era non-computer tools? Even at the task of creating better computer tools?

I'd started to read Engelbart's vast proposal-paper, and he was talking about computers as a tool of intelligence enhancement. It's this that I had in mind when, trying to be generous, I said "10%". Obviously there are various object-level problems at which someone with a computer is a lot more productive, like doing complicated integrals with no analytic solution.

But what concerns us is the degree of reinvestable improvement, the sort of improvement that will go into better tools that can be used to make still better tools. Office work isn't a candidate for this.

And yes, we use programming languages to write better programming languages - but there are some people out there who still swear by Emacs; would the state of computer science be so terribly far behind where it is now, after who knows how many cycles of reinvestment, if the mouse had still not been invented?

I don't know, but to the extent such an effect existed, I would expect it to be more due to less popular uptake leading to less investment - and not a whole lot due to losing out on the compound interest from a mouse making you, allegedly, 10% smarter, including 10% smarter at the kind of computer science that helps you do further computer science.