RE: Hofstadter Symposium [was Re: it was all a gag]

From: Billy Brown (
Date: Tue Apr 04 2000 - 19:29:25 MDT

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> Billy Brown wrote:
> > In theory it could be, if you had the storage, but the result would be
> > useless. What good is a human-level AI that runs 10^6 times slower than
> > real human?
> A great deal of good. It can rewrite its own source code, however
> slowly. It can use the conscious thoughts as a brief adjunct to mostly
> autonomic processes. It can run a lot faster on next year's hardware,
> or convince IBM or some funder to buy you a lot more of this year's
> hardware. You can be sure that at least you've solved the problem of
> intelligence. And you can write up a Sysop seed and put it on a CD and
> hand it to Eric Drexler and ask him to run it on the first nanocomputer,
> thus reducing the window of vulnerability.

If we were talking about 1 or 2 orders of magnitude I would agree, but six?
A ten-minute conversation with the AI would take almost 20 years! It would
take many decades just to figure out whether it was actually
human-equivalent or not, and even with the AI advantage it is far slower
than any human worker.

I think 2-3 orders of magnitude is the limit of usefulness even for a
research tool. If it runs slower than that, you're better off ignoring it
in favor of more tractable systems while you wait for faster hardware to
come along.

Billy Brown

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