Re: Singularity optimization [Was: Colossus and the Singularity]

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sat Jan 27 2001 - 19:24:39 MST

At 12:38 AM 28/01/01 +0100, Anders wrote:

>Then we get the problem of how much better deliberate design is over
>blind evolution. This depends a lot on the fitness landscape and
>whether there exists detectable regularities. Intelligent systems are
>able to not just optimize something, but to use information from an
>environment to find an effective way of doing it. In the general case
>intelligence is of course no use, but as you point out, this is
>fortunately a low entropy world where intelligence has some
>applications :-)

Samantha also mentioned `induction' as a supplement to deduction. Of course
a post-Popperian will insist that induction isn't a formal procedure, just
shorthand for making a guess based on clumpings or chunkings noted by
feature detectors evolved in a fitness landscape with detectable

Another suggested formalization possibly of interest is semiotician and
pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce's* `abduction', or retrodiction. That's
his stab at an explanation of the logic of how, when faced with startling
facts, we crystallize some single hypothesis out of the myriad possible.
Peirce hoped it would take its place in the accepted armamentarium of
logic, alongside deduction and induction. In the event, Karl Popper arrived
to throw induction out the door as well, although it seems to be creeping
back in again lately.

Abduction never really took off, perhaps because its method is impossibly
hard to specify. (As I say, I suspect that what Peirce mistook for the
activity of an abductive logic is actually one or more cognitive templates
kicking in at a level inaccessible to scrutiny, the kind of painfully
evolved filter that matches language's universal grammar to those aspects
of the world salient to human survival.) `Abduction' would go more directly
to detectable regularities and pluck out their deep grammar. All the more
reason to couple your evolving AI as closely as possible to the real
external world allowing the critter amply opportunities to explore it while
enabling the world to have its impact in return.

*(Peirce is pronounced `Purse', BTW)

Damien Broderick

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