What you're talking about is not analogous to the Thompson hack; what
you're talking about is more like a compiler that would recognize *any*
compiler, even a compiler written for Pascal instead of C++, and which
would furthermore refuse to compile anything that could be used as a
spreadsheet. I don't believe it can be done, even with limited AI.
What's more likely is that if Zyvex wants to sell more than one Anything
Box, their Boxes will be programmed to build only those objects which
have been signed with by Zyvex's public RSA key; which, of course, will
not include Anything Boxes. Or submachine guns.
(As modified to take into account the "nanotech -> quantum computing ->
no more RSA" chain. Open (?) question: Using quantum computing, is it
possible to create a public-key encryption method immune to quantum decryption?)
-- email@example.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://pobox.com/~sentience/beyond.html Typing in Dvorak Programming with Patterns Writing in Gender-neutral Voting for Libertarians Heading for Singularity There Is A Better Way
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