Eliezer Yudkowsky wrote:
>Suppose you make a recording of a Turing machine, and play it back - load
>state and tape from each tick back into memory. Is that an instantiation?
I assume the playback would take place on a Turing machine as robust as the recorded subject since only a device equal in complexity could perform a faithful playback. I'm further assuming that by "instantiation" you are meaning that the process of playing back the recorded machinations of a conscious intelligence instantiates that conscious intelligence (assuming defined steps of computation are involved). If I'm getting any of this wrong, let me know and I'll revise my observations.
The example above is not instantiation of a conscious intelligence. The playback machine is not given the chance to experience its own consciousness and allow that experience to develop its mind. The playback process, assuming the recording was at the appropriate detail, would constantly overwrite every connection, memory, heuristic, etc. There would be no instance of consciousness in the playback machine. Once the playback ends, however, and if the recorded mind is not deleted from the playback machine, it could be conscious then. Going forward, starting with the final mind state of the recording, the playback machine (no longer playing a recording) would be a developing mind.
>Suppose you run the Turing machine again, except this time you compare it
>the recording and destroy it if it differs. Is that an instantiation?
This example appears to be instantiation of a conscious intelligenc, albeit one in a very miserable plight. The difference with this example is that the tolerance of difference, at least momentarily, implies the playback machine is given the chance to develop on its own but only those developments that compare with the recording are allowed to remain. A similar scenario could be the ultimate form of mind control. You are reading the manifesto of a new totalitarian group. This group happens to possess the power to monitor every change in a mind and manipulate it if it chooses. The group monitors your mind as you read its manifesto. If you react negatively or reject a concept, they change your mind accordingly to agree with the concept. You are conscious, but the trajectory of your mind over time is constantly being adjusted to direct it down a particular path.
I found the analogy of a musical artist improvising a cadenza helpful in
thinking through these. An artist has been asked to improvise a cadenza on
a guitar lasting one minute. The artist does so, employing all of her
dexterity, musical knowledge and creativity. A recording is made of the
cadenza. Additionally, the cadenza is meticulously transcribed (every note,
nuance, timbre change, etc.)
Do any of the processes below exhibit creativity, i.e. instantiate creativity?
>If these processes are AIs, which of them are conscious?
>It's questions like these, admittedly carried a bit farther, that converted
>from my former position of Strong AI to a Penrosian noncomputationalist.
> email@example.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
>Disclaimer: Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
>everything I think I know.