Sunday, November 13, 2011

Death to Emergent AI.

Emergent AI... self aware skynet type stuff. Something gets smart enough to become self aware ( and doesn't immediatly hate itself enough to commit suicide).  This is the fun stuff of Sci-Fi. 

But what happens next?  An emergent intelligence crosses some threshold and we can identify it as "intelligent" doesn't mean that it stops "emerging".  People are as intelligent as they can be based on their physical limitations, their historical context and their expsoure to information.  If we assume that the emergent AI has no limits on it physical properties ( unlimited access to computational resources), unlimited access to historical information and unlimited ability to consume it, and finally unlimited access to current information... then what will stop it continuing to evolve?  It would seem impossible to stop.

This then point out the danger to emergent AI.  Age!  The longer they exist, the more information and capacity they will aggregate and the more cruft it will acrete.  Think of all the crud that builds up in any large record system, all the orphan books and bits of paper around a library, or all the fragments and temp files and cruft in a computing system that runs without a reboot.  Emergent systems are not neat and tidy.  They are not well defined or well maintained.  They are primordial sludge dragging itself out of the ooze.  The chance of getting it right the first time would seem to be ... small.  My bet is that Age will have an effect on AI the same way it has an effect on humans.  Not at the same scale... potentially it may be much faster... like an organisam gorging itself to death... or slower... like decay and rot. 

It should be fun to watch.

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