RE: No AI for Nano/No Nano for copyloads

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Fri Jul 14 2000 - 11:24:24 MDT

Billy Brown wrote:
> > > low level neural simulation requires more computing power than will
> > > be feasibly available in a non-nanotech world.
> >
> > [once] we understand how each local thing works. ... throw away most of
> > the irrelevant detail and simulate at a higher level of abstraction.
>I agree. However, that process of learning and incemental improvement will
>almost certainly take several decades if it is done using extensions of
>current techniques. That makes the resulting brain simulation a 2030 - 2050
>era technology, vs 2010 - 2030 for basic nanotech manufacturing, sensing and
>computing devices.

While it can see how it might take some time to learn how local things work,
I think it takes much less time to compile that more abstractly. And since
I tend to think of nanotech as more of a gradual increase in manufacturing
abilities, I don't think specifics of nanotech progress matter that much here.

>It is also worth noting that technologies such as neural inerfaces,
>intelligence enhancement and sentient AI also look quite plausible in that
>time frame.

I don't think neural interfaces will be very useful, and don't think
substantial intelligence enhancement is that relevant - whatever enhancements
humans have uploads can use too. Sentient AI seems very unlikely to me to
happen before uploads, being a vastly harder problem.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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