Re: Infinitely fast computer

Stephen de Vries (
Sat, 12 Oct 1996 09:16:59 GMT2

On Fri, 11 Oct 1996 Hal Finney wrote:

> An idea I've been amusing myself with a bit, relating to the question
> of how hard it will be to generate AI using nanotech is this: suppose a
> genii gives you an infinitely fast computer. This is a computer just
> like today's, programmable in C or Lisp or some other language, which
> had the property that it runs infinitely fast. Any program you put on
> it completes instantly (unless it is of the type which never completes,
> in which case it runs forever until you halt it). All computation is
> done in zero time. We'll also throw in infinite memory while we're at
> it, although I'm not sure how big the C pointers have to be then :-).
> The question is, given such a miraculous device, how hard would it be
> for you, meaning the typical programmer reading this, to produce a program
> which could pass the Turing test, or better still one which is super-
> intelligent? Where would you start?

I think the biggest advantage of such a fast computer would be that
any a-life organisms/programs grown on it would evolve to the maximum
capacity of the memory in zero time! The initial program could be
quite simple, but it must be able to change itself. There would have
to be a lot of sensible input so that it could develop a complex
relationship between it's input and output. It would need feedback
from the real world to verify that it's evolutionary path will lead
it to where we are now (otherwise we will not be able to understand
it), it can go further on it's own, as long as it first checks in at

Intelligence: The relationship between your input and output ;-)

Could it even be done? >

There is no doubt it my mind that it can and will be done.

Stephen de Vries
Don't worry! I've got a geiger counter in my car.