Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Determining When AI Intelligence Exceeds Human Intelligence

Reply to reply... Open thread, Mar. 16 - Mar. 22, 2015

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Orchids, with around 30,000 species (10% of all plants), are arguably the most successful plant family on the planet. The secret to their success? It has largely to do with the fact that a single seed pod can contain around a million unique seeds/individuals. Each dust-like seed, which is wind disseminated, is a unique combination of traits/tools. Orchids are the poster child for hedging bets. As a result, they grow everywhere from dripping wet cloud forests to parched drought-prone habitats. Here are some photos of orchids growing on cactus/succulents.

Now, if you say that orchids could find a "better" arrangement of traits... I certainly agree... and so do orchids! The orchid family frequently sends out trillions and trillions of unique individuals in a massive and decentralized endeavor to find where there's room for improvement. And there's always room for improvement. There are always more Easter Eggs to be found. But a better combination of traits for growing on a cactus really isn't a better combination of traits for growing on a tree covered in dripping wet moss. AI generalists can be good at a lot of things... but they can't be better than AI specialists at specific things. A jack of all trades is a master of none.

No matter how "perfect" a basket is... AIs are eventually going to be too smart to put all their eggs in it. This is true whether we're talking about a location ie "Earth"... or a type of physical body... or a type of mentality. Imagine if humans had all been at Pompeii. Or if humans had all been equally susceptible to the countless diseases that have plagued us. Or if humans had all been equally susceptible to the cool-aid cult. Or if humans had all been equally susceptible to the idea that kings should control the power of the purse.

We've come as far as we have because of difference. We've only come as far as we have because people still don't recognize the value of difference.

It's impossible for me to imagine a level of progress where difference ceases to be the engine of progress. And it's impossible for me to imagine beings that are more intelligent than us not understanding this. Because, if AIs think it's a good idea to put all their eggs in any kind of basket... then they won't be smarter than even me!

If you truly understood the value of difference... then you would love the idea of allowing everybody to shop for themselves in the public sector. So if you're not a fan of pragmatarianism... then you don't truly understand the value of difference. You think that our current system of centralization, which suppresses difference, results in more progress than a decentralized, difference-integrating system would. The fact of the matter is... keeping Elon Musk's difference out of the public sector hinders progress. And if any AIs don't realize this... then they are still at human level intelligence.

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Proprietism: What If the Government Was a Brain?
Pragmatarianism:  Then it's currently missing more than a few brain cells.

See also...

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