Re: Seed AI

Christopher Maloney (
Fri, 02 Jul 1999 23:58:46 -0400

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > I mean, when I think about your suggestion, I can imagine what
> > (for example) my wife would say. Something like "what a dry
> > and sterile existence"! But I would argue, and maybe you would
> > too, that the "sub-problems" are really what life is all about.
> > And I always think it's rather Anthro-centric to think that
> > appreciating art and beauty and so forth are peculiar human
> > abilities.
> Actually, I'm still not quite sure where beauty and music and laughter
> come from. I think it has something to do with sexual selection, but I
> don't know enough to duplicate it. They don't get any more peculiar
> than
> > I personally think that they are just ways of
> > thinking about patterns and analogies, an ability which an AI
> > will certainly have. I.e., "sub-problems"!
> But then why do they cause joy? And is the joy of seeing a beautiful
> MotOS the same kind of joy as seeing an elegant theorem?

Well, yes, I think so. But then, maybe I've been staring at my computer too much. I've thought about this issue for a long time, and over the years I've come to believe that there are strong connections between these various types of emotions. I can only speak for myself, though, of course. For example, I think that the "aha!" moment I get when finally understanding a difficult mathematical concept, or in figuring out a technical problem, is *very* similar to the sudden burst of laughter that erupts when I the punch line of a really good joke kicks in. Irony is so delicious because it's about seeing patterns and analogies where you wouldn't ordinarily expect them.

> If not, which
> category does the joy of music belong to, and does it matter whether the
> music is "Holding Out for a Hero" or "Little Fugue in G Minor"?
> (MotOS = Member of the Opposite Sex)

Chris Maloney

"Knowledge is good"
-- Emil Faber