Re: What is Intelligence?

Robin Hanson (
Thu, 3 Oct 96 12:52:27 PDT

Dan Clemmensen writes:
>> My point is, what is it about intelligence-augmenting, as opposed to
>> communication-augmenting, transporation-augmenting,
>> lifespan-augmenting, or any other X-augmenting new techology, that
>> leads you to expect some special different effect on economic growth?
>Sorry, Robin. I thought this was self-evident, but apparently not. IMO
>a person/entity with dramatically higher intelligence can invent and
>then use an array of vastly-improved products and processes. These
>products and processes will rapidly and radically affect the economy,
>but this is a side-effect. The crucial difference is in the feedback,
>as the entity invents and implements additional
>intelligence-augmenting devices, algorithms, and processes. ...
>You may argue that the industrial revolution is an analogy. At that
>point, we began to use machines to produce machines. That did in fact
>produce fairly radical changes in the economy and in society over a
>historically short period. ... intelligence
>augmentation has the potential to happen in a much shorter time.

The issue is not the existence of feedback, a point we both granted
long ago. Feedback happens with all technlogical and economic growth.
Even before the industrial revolution.

The whole issue is about the rates of change. You have been claiming
that this technology will produce much faster rates of change and
economic growth than we have seen with other technologies, and I have
been asking for your reasons. In the above, you simply repeat your
claim of faster change several times, but do not give reasons.

Robin D. Hanson