RE: Beyond evolution

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Jan 28 2001 - 12:45:11 MST


> I *know* evolution is a general and powerful process. It's the process
> that produced me, and I acknowledge that. I just think that intelligence
> is a *more* general and *more* powerful process. If evolution gets in the
> way of my declarative goals, or the declarative goals of a Friendly AI,
> then we'll *deal* with it, and without too much trouble. The emergent
> forces of evolution are unintelligent. I can outsmart them; a Friendly
> seed AI can outwit, outclass, and outgun them; a superintelligence can
> simply crush the forces involved via brute brainpower.

And this is what I don't believe.

When you say "brute brainpower", you're referring to a rather underspecified
collection of cognitive algorithms

My mathematical conjecture is that the ONLY effective algorithm for general
inference control is EVOLUTION.

I actually tried a while to prove this, and failed -- the mathematical
just doesn't exist

I could be wrong of course...

> So when people argue that the character of post-Singularity reality is
> *still* going to be determined by evolution, on the grounds that evolution
> is going to sneak in and stomp on the goal systems of the transhumans that
> will enact the new world, I just don't buy it.

My argument is different: the thought process is intrinsically evolutionary,
I claim;
and so the mutation and "genetic drift" aspects of evolutionary optimization
will be present
in the course of development of AI's even if there is no evolution on the
inter-AI level
but only within the long-term development of individual Ai minds.

> Sure. Hedonic neurons, directed evolution in the human immune system...
> like I said, evolution is a very powerful method. Intelligence is *more*
> powerful. You just don't get to see that unless you have access to
> general intelligence - not algorithms, not classical-AI heuristics, but
> true general intelligence. Wait until Webmind starts writing vis own
> treatises on seed AI before you conclude that an evolutionary goal system
> is the best possible method...

Well, you could be right. But I doubt it. We'll see ;>


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