RE: Upgrading

Billy Brown (
Fri, 26 Mar 1999 14:28:13 -0600

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> Well, we aren't.

OK. That's what I thought.

> I think it's even worse than that; I don't think our neurons are doing
> anything as inefficient as an emulation layer. I think the brain's
> low-level algorithms will look like Vinge's description of a skrode -
> unchunkable without a specialized domdule. Like trying to understand
> the "spirit" of a piece of art by examining it pixel by
> pixel, only more so..

Yeah. Its hard enough to figure out what a neural net with a few hundred neurons is doing. I can't imagine an individual human getting anywhere on a whole brain, or even a significant subsystem.

> But your logic about having lots of company doesn't necessarily hold.
> My computer is faster than it has RAM - and, relative to computers, the
> human brain uses a *lot* more RAM relative to processing power. (Also,
> don't forget that uploading requires incredibly sophisticated
> nanotechnology.) So once uploaded successfully, and even before any
> functional improvements were made, the first upload would be running at
> days per second, or even years per second.

I'm not especially afraid of a human who runs faster than real time. It doesn't make him smarter, and if he tries to crank up the speed too much he'll go nuts from sensory deprivation and/or social isolation (or get lost in VR, if you go that route). It may make him able to do the work of ten normal humans, or even a hundred, but that isn't enough to make him dangerous to the human race as a whole.

That being the case, I'd expect the number of uploads to be fairly large before they can get an effective IE cycle going.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I