Re: Curriculum for AI

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Tue Dec 31 2002 - 20:29:19 MST

On Tuesday, December 31, 2002, at 09:20 PM, Ben Goertzel wrote:

> Colin Hales wrote:
>> 1) Automaton. Fixed learning about X,Y,Z...No training.
>> 2) Learner. Learns X,Y,Z.....
>> 3) Meta Learner. Learns to learn X,Y,Y....
>> 4) Meta-Meta Learner. This machine is Eliezer's SL4 self-modifying
>> subliming beastie! Perfoms brain surgery on itself. Too hard for my
>> poor
>> brain.
> These very closely resemble the "levels of learning" introduced by
> Gregory
> Bateson in his book "Mind and Nature" and his earlier writings.
> He discusses learning, learning how to learn, and learning how to
> learn how
> to learn. He gives examples of each in human thinking, and posits
> that the
> human brain doesn't extend to "learning how to learn how to learn how
> to
> learn" in significant ways.

Going to four levels of learning doesn't make any sense, anyway.

First, let's subtract 1 from all of those levels; it's a bit easier to
keep track of them then.

At level 0 there is no learning involved, per se. The mind is just
being force fed facts: they magically appear in its memory.

At level 1 there is normally learning involved that we are all familiar
with. It's the kind that goes on between children and parents, goes on
while reading, and goes on in schools (or at least is supposed to).

Level 2 is more interesting. This is where you learn techniques like
associating memories with each other to strengthen your ability to
remember them and that practice helps you get better at complex tasks
like algebra and calculus.

Level 3 is flat out exciting. Now you can learn to learn better. If
you can't understand the theory of Friendly AI, all you have to do is
reprogram yourself to be able to learn it. It goes further than that,
though. At this level you already get the ability to reprogram
yourself to reprogram yourself better. You're working at that level
already, so it's no problem to just jump over and rewrite the running
code (assuming the system supports it, but in the general case it's
already available).

If a level 4 exists, this would be extending to ontotechnology but
would be debatable to continue to think of this in terms of levels of
learning. That would certainly still be an applicable domain, but
things were already starting to open up at level 3 and the seams are
busted wide open at level 4.

Gordon Worley                      "It requires a very unusual mind               to undertake the analysis of                           the obvious."
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                        --Alfred North Whitehead

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