Comment author:BenRayfield
21 September 2010 08:42:36AM
-4 points
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Humans evolved from the ancestors of Monkeys therefore there is no line between person and nonperson. There are many ways to measure it, but all correct ways are a continuous function. More generally, the equations of quantum physics are continuous. There is a continuous path from any possible state of the universe to any possible state of the universe. Therefore, for any 2 possible life forms, there is a continuous path of quantum wavefunction (state of the universe) between them, which would look like a video morphing continuously between 2 pictures but morphing between living patterns instead of pictures. For example, there is a continuous path between both possible states (alive and dead in the box) of Schrodinger's Cat, but its more important that there are an infinite number of continuous paths, not just the path that crosses the point in spacetime where it is decided if the cat lives or dies. For what I'm explaining here, it does not matter if all these possibilities exist or not. It only matters that they can be defined in logic, even if we do not know the definition. To solve hard problems, its useful to know a solution exists.

Starting from the knowledge that there are definable functions that can approximate continuous measures between any 2 life forms, I will explain a sequence of tasks that starts at something simple enough that we know how to do it, and continuous as tasks of increasing difficulty, finally defining a task that calculates a Nonperson Predicate, the subject of this thread. It is very slow and uses a lot of computer memory, but to define it at all is progress.

I am not defining ethics. I am writing a more complex version of "select * from..." in a database language, but this process defines how to select something thats not a person. That is a completely different question than if its right or wrong to simulate people and delete the simulations.

The second-last step is to define a continuous function that returns 0 for the average Monkey and returns 1 for the average Human and returns a fraction for any evolution between them (if such transition species were still alive to measure), and to define many similar functions that measure between Human and many other things.

All of these functions must return approximately the same number for a simulation as for a simulation of a simulation, to any recursive depth.

A computer can run a physics simulation of another computer which runs a simulation of a life form. Such a recursive simulation is inside quantum physics. Quantum physics equations are continuous and have an infinite number of paths between all possible states of the universe. Therefore continuous functions can be defined that measure between a simulation and a simulation of a simulation. That does not depend on if it has ever been done. I only need to explain that it can be defined abstractly.

The "continuous function that returns 0 for the average Monkey and returns 1 for the average Human" problem, counting simulations and simulations of simulations equally, are much too hard to solve directly, so start at a similar and extremely simpler problem:

Define a continuous function that returns 0 for the average electron and returns 1 for the average photon, counting simulations of electrons/photons the same as simulations of simulations of electrons/photons.

Just the part of counting a simulation the same as a simulation of a simulation (to any recursive depth) is enough to send most people "screaming and running away from the problem". No need to get into the Human parts. The same question about simple particles in physics, which we have well known equations for, is more than we know how to do. Learn to walk before you learn to run.

Choose many things as training data including electrons, photons, atoms, molecules, protein-folding, tissues, bacteria, plants, insects, animals, and eventually approach Humans without ever getting there. Calculate continuous functions between pairs of these things, and calculate a web of functions that approaches a Nonperson Predicate without ever simulating a person. For the last step, extrapolate from Monkey to Human the same way you can use statistical clustering to extrapolate from simpler animals to Monkey.

That's how you calculate a Nonperson Predicate without ever simulating a person.

Also, near the last few steps, because of the way it can simulate and predict brains of animals and the simpler behaviors of people, this algorithm, including details about the clustering and evolution of continuous measuring functions to be figured out later, may converge to a Coherent Extrapolated Volition (CEV) algorithm and therefore generate a Friendly AI, if you had the unreasonably large amount of computers needed to run it.

Its basically an optimization process for simulating everything from physics up to animals and extrapolating that to higher life forms like people. Its not practical to build this and use it. Its purpose is to define a solution so we can think of faster ways to do it later.

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