Re: :Weird mysterious ineffable stuff

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Sun, 19 Sep 1999 16:42:46 -0500

John Clark wrote:
> Eliezer wrote on Thursday, September 16, 1999:
> >Eliezer S. Yudkowsky thinks that we have weird, mysterious,
> >ineffable stuff going on in our neurons
> I doubt if you're right about that but if you are, how can you hope to make
> a AI until you know exactly what that weird, mysterious, ineffable stuff is
> and how it works?

I don't think it's tremendously _necessary_ ineffable stuff. I mean, it's probably necessary on a low level for some computations, and on a high level for qualia, but not intrinsically necessary to intelligence (and particularly not mathematical ability; take that, Roger Penrose!). I would guess that the vast majority of naturally evolved intelligence in Universes with Socratean physics (our Universe being the "Socrates Universe", you recall) is entirely computational; our own existence being explained either by the Anthropic Principle or (gulp) interference.

We can't hope to upload humans until we've effed the ineffable, and screwing the inscrutable is probably necessary for Power party tricks, but a seed AI shouldn't require unmisting the mysterious.

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