Re: Positive Transcension

From: Christian Szegedy (
Date: Mon Feb 16 2004 - 09:14:59 MST

Jef Allbright wrote:

>It's interesting to note the near-religious fervor that accompanies the
>discussion on this list of saving humanity via a single savior AI.
It's been my gut feeling for quite a while ;)

>A single solution is not natures's way, and I see all around evidence that
>we are fundamentally enmeshed in nature, that there is a backgound process
>of increasing complexity that drives all progress, and that complexity with
>long-term survival value is accompanied by *increasing diversity*.

It's hard to tell what complexity is, but I think there are some
definitions which could
fit your statement, however "diversity" is even less defined. It does not
matter which definition I take, I don't think that "increasing
diversity" is a general
principle. We see increasing and decreasing diversities on different
levels and
it is completely chaotic. For example biological diversity is rapidely
these days, but e.g. the diversity of cell phone systems is increasing,
but I assume,
it will decrease soon. ;)

>organism. It's happening anyway, with human intelligence already becoming
>augmented with media streams, personal computers, PDAs, mobile phones, all
>networked, with the trend toward ubiquitous intelligence all around and
>within us. We can't ignore the exponentionally enhancing power of networks.
I agree about networks, especially the internet. It has caused important
and improved overall efficiency.

However I don't believe at all in the "intelligence enhancing" effects
of the
"media streams" (whatever they are), PDAs, personal computers etc.
I don't really think that we were intellectually much more capable using
stuff than anyone at the beginning of the last century with a some
sheets of
paper and a pen. I even would go far as to say, that they were capable of
even more without them ;)

I agree that this will change as soon as the computers and gadgets become
more usable, but I think, today they are merely distracting toys, but

And it is nout just a question of hardware. I could imagine that the current
hardware could be used much more effectively by more sophisticated people.
I simply think that our skills in concentrating and using all those
stuff is very
low compared to the potentials both of human brain and current computer

>network of nodes and work with nature. Not one great AI, but innumerable
>augmented intellects.
It would be nice, but I don't think it's feasible. The potential of
engineered computing
substrate is so much higher that of the human brains, so it won't take
much time
till it comes to an "intelligence explosion". It is not a "faith". I am
not too optimistic
about its effects on humanity, but I don't think it would make much
difference to
try to accelerate or deccelerate this process. (In fact, I working on
accelerating it,
simply because it's more fun). The only way to postpone it, is nuking
away 99.9%
of the humanity.

>We'll be changed in the process, but we'll look back and see that it was
>both natural and "good."
Will "we" include humans also? - Anyway, who cares?

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