Re: [sl4] The Starving Artist Experiment

From: Gwern Branwen (
Date: Tue Nov 03 2009 - 15:16:41 MST

On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 4:14 AM, Mark Nuzzolilo <> wrote:
> Suppose I were to take a willing participant in captivity, who does not know
> how to draw art very well, and deprive him of food for a day or two.
> Thereafter I would put in front of him his favorite food, and tell him that
> unless he draws me a decent picture of something, the food will be given
> away to somebody else.  For this thought experiment, I would like you to
> assume that the effects of hunger on the human mind and body are not
> significantly inhibiting in any way his "regular" ability to think or draw.
> The question is, will he then draw greatly above his previous skill level?
> What implications does this have for intelligence, and has there been any
> research into intelligence or psychology using this type of approach or
> concept?  Keep in mind that there are also other potential motivators other
> than hunger.
> Mark Nuzzolilo

It sounds to me like you are asking what are the limits of weak
superintelligence. (Or if you aren't, it's a boring question about
human limits over a day or two, and not really SL4 material.)

I don't know any convincing evidence about what a human can do given
subjective centuries, requisite tools, and incentive to practice. I
would suspect that they could eventually become a master of the
technical aspects, and be much better than they started out.


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