Re: FAI: Collective Volition

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Jun 01 2004 - 15:40:42 MDT

At 04:31 PM 6/1/2004 -0400, Eliezer wrote interestingly, ending with:

>Regarding optimization processes as compressing outcomes into narrow
>regions of configuration space gets rid of a lot of the dreck about
>"intentionality" and all the wonderful properties that people keep wanting
>to attribute to "intelligence". Natural selection produces information in
>DNA by compressing the sequences into regions of DNA-space with high fitness.

The dangers of this approach are evident when we ask whether there are such
entities as `regions of DNA-space with high fitness'. Phenotypes have
empirically-tested fitness within given eliciting and sustaining
environments that include other phenotypes similar to and different from
themselves. Genes don't (except, say, in the countervailing example of
homeoboxen, which are spectacularly promiscuous and don't care *what*
phenotypes they help build). See, e.g., critiques by Gabriel Dover and
Barbara Herrnstein-Smith among many others. Configuration spaces are human
constructs produced, amusingly enough, by such dreck as intentionality.
(Just a note of caution.)

Damien Broderick

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