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Dan Fabulich wrote:

*>... suppose that in order to get a linear increase in
*

*>intelligence, you had to solve a problem requiring an exponential
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*>number of computations. ... progress would get slower and slower.
*

*>... For all we know, it'll turn out that exponential increases in
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*>intelligence requires solving a problem requiring a linearly
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*>increasing number of steps, and just as soon as we get the tools to
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*>start messing around, our intelligence will go through the roof.
*

We actually do have data on this! Human IQ *has* been increasing

dramatically over the last century. It's called the Flynn effect.

http://www.sciam.com/1999/0199issue/0199profile.html

The graph there looks linear, but if it were exponential the

growth rate would be ~3% per year.

At the same time measures of humanity's effective compute cycles have

increased exponentially, such as population (~1.5%) or world product (~4%).

If we posit that IQ per person is a power law in terms of humanity's

effective compute cycles so far, and that IQ grows exponentially we'd get IQ

being population to the power of ~1.4, or world product to the power of ~.5.

If artificial computers come to dominate the compute cycles so far, and if

those compute cycles double every two years, then these power laws predict

IQ would double every 1.4 or 4 years. This would be a dramatic speedup, but

still far less than the super-minds overnight scenario. And if IQ growth

has been linear, future IQ growth would also be expected to be linear and

hence more limited, even if faster by a similar magnitude.

Notice that under this conception it makes little sense to imagine a

computer in a small lab suddenly breaking through to super-intelligence.

Intelligence increases would be the result of breakthroughs all across the

globe, and the compute cycles in any one lab would only be a very small

fraction of that total.

Robin Hanson rhanson@gmu.edu http://hanson.gmu.edu

Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University

MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444

703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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