Re: Cognution [was Re: Deep Blue - white paper]

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Sun, 05 Sep 1999 12:56:54 -0500

Spike Jones wrote:
> Ja. Cameron, Deep Blue changed the way we think about the task of
> playing chess. Im suggesting that *everything* we do can be calculated
> brute force style, even if we dont fully understand how our minds do it.
> This is a strong statement: that given sufficient computing power, computers
> can enjoy, can feel, can love, etc, as soon as we develop the algorithms.
> Chess is not a unique example, nor speech recognition. This is profound
> as all hell, Cam, since the faster computers are coming, like a speeding
> train. No stopping it.

Enjoying, feeling, and loving is comparatively trivial compared to the problem of cognition. Not absolutely trivial, not easy, but not anywhere near as hard, either.

And it takes a *lot* of brute force to overcome the distinction between recognizing a good idea and originating one - and even then you still have to code the recognition ability.

> I was with friends today and they asked me a question that stumped me.
> Perhaps extropians can help: How do we *know* we are not *currently*
> uploaded simulations, running on some unimaginably advanced supercomputer?
> Is there any way to know?

Logic says there's, oh, at least a 50% chance of this being essentially a 100% probability. My intuitions, though, tell me that this Universe is real down to the quark level, which I don't think would be necessary if this were a simulation. Then again, in this sort of situation it's kind of hard to trust one's intuitions - but I still do.

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