Re: COMP: AI substrate

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 26 Jul 1999 04:59:00 -0500

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> Oh, we can't program it properly? But a 100 kCPU machine can shuffle
> opcodes damn quickly, 24 h/day, 365 d/year. Despite all the Kozas of
> this world, we cannot mutate assembler opcodes in a nonbrittle
> manner. However, nothing prevents us from making a robust mutator
> function our fitness goal. Find the code which mutates the machine
> code without breaking it too often. Feed back the best performing
> mutation function specimens back into the population searching for the
> best mutation function. (Did somebody just said
> "autocatalysis"?). Mix, stir, repeat until done.

Okay, so it's a damn big pattern-catcher, but it's still just a pattern-catcher. I don't think AI is that simple. It sounds large, in absolute terms, but relative to what already exists:

  1. Raw power is about the equivalent of, what, a rat's brain?
  2. Self-programming algorithm... around the spider level, I'd guess.

If intelligence was that simple, rats would be sentient.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way