Migrating SI (was Re: Yudkowsky's AI (again))

Dan Clemmensen (Dan@Clemmensen.ShireNet.com)
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 17:44:45 -0500

Billy Brown wrote:
> If it is possible to migrate to some kind of custom-engineered reality, the
> SI will do so before it has existed long enough to bother with changing any
> significant portion of the Earth (moving atoms is so *slow*, after all).
> There is a very small chance that this could have side effects that would
> destroy Earth, but it seems unlikely - if such a project is not possible at
> low energy levels, the SI will probably have to migrate to some location
> where high energy densities can be achieved.
> If such projects are not possible, the SI will probably migrate to whatever
> part of the universe is best suited for its projects. Since all of the
> options that have been suggested require exotic physical conditions (i.e.
> the surface of a neutron star), I conclude that there is little chance it
> would want to stay here. So, once again the odds are in our favor.
You argue the the SI will not concern itself with slow atomic-scale activity because it doesn't want to wait. You postulate migration to a "swinging hot spot" instead. I don't think this works. If the SI is concerned with time, it surely won't want to take the time to migrate. It if wants a neutron star, it will simply convert the sun. If migration is the only option, the SI will take all the mass/energy it can with it, probably making an optimum tradeoff between mass/energy expended for propulsion versus mass/energy that can be devoted to computation enroute, The available mass for this project is the mass in the solar system, nearly all of which is in the sun. Conversion of the sun to a neutron star or the use of its mass for propulsion is "mere" mega-scale engineering, requiring no new physics. FTL travel and customized universes require new physics.