RE: Minds, Machines, and the Multiverse

Date: Sun May 07 2000 - 20:16:49 MDT

Billy writes:
> However, you still don't gain anything by using a VR. For example, the
> efficient implementation of your example is to dispense with the robot and
> its VR maze entirely, and simply run the robot's search algorithm on a
> mathematical model of the topology of the maze. All the other features of
> the VR are wasted bits. The same is true of any computation - running a
> full-blown VR is far more expensive than running an abstract operation that
> only implements the features you are interested in working with.

Yes, if your only goal is to solve some particular abstract problem
that is the case. But if your goal is to live life, you need to have
a world to interact with. And it's more than just a "social amenity".
For one thing, there don't necessarily have to be other people involved.
It may be that certain kinds of problem solving work best when you do
have a physical model of the problem that you can deal with, so as to
bring all of your intuition to bear.

Say, for example, you are working on some kind of packing problem.
Being able to interact with objects and see how they fit together may
be a crucial step in developing the insight necessary to get the answer,
even using the best (most intelligent) algorithms available. You might
be able to do this in the physical world, but a virtual world will have
many advantages. One of them is energy consumption, although it is
probably a small advantage compared to the others.


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