[ExI] simulation as an improvement over reality

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Thu Dec 30 11:15:48 UTC 2010

On Dec 29, 2010, at 4:52 PM, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> On 2010-12-28 21:25, spike wrote:
>>> ...5a) Cackle maniacally.  Mandatory, if you believe Hollywood.  ;)...
>> There are two schools of thought on this.  There is the old standard
>> Muwaaa{ha}^5 crowd, and those who insist on the more guttural  and evil
>> sounding mirthful interjection starting with Buuwaa.
> I am firmly in the Muwaaa{ha}^5 group. My colleagues at FHI have learned to fear when my laughter echoes down the hall...
> (Nick: "Anders, have you come up with *another* WMD?! We are supposed to *save* mankind.")
>>> ...7) At some point, teleoperation just won't cut it, and you'll want to
>> have an on-site crew... Adrian
>> I must disagree on this, or perhaps modify it thus: teleoperation will
>> continue to work, ever improving in fact, but we may argue the whole point
>> of the entire exercise is to move meat to the remote site.  It isn't
>> *necessary* so much as it is the *goal*, an end point, even if technically
>> pointless, like sporting events and so much human activity.  We just do it
>> because... well, we don't know why, but we still do it anyway.
> But can teleoperation become so good that it reduces the instrumental interest in moving a mind to the moon?

Not as long as we are limited by the speed of light in signal propagation.  Locality of mind/intelligence will be important as long as we are so limited.  You can't teleoperate well enough for many operations to do work in GEO from earth much less on the moon.    The light speed barrier also means that there will be many many AGIs when they are developed (and are cheap enough to produce and replicate) rather than only one.

> The obvious problem is lag. But if the teleoperation is more about directing fairly autonomous systems, then that might be fine. Many human-computer interaction tricks also seem to be able to hide lags, getting the full human perceptual-motor abilities without too much annoyance.

More autonomous systems are increasingly being deployed.  Eventually it isn't teleoperation but more a matter of remote supervision.   

It would be good for space robotics to not model their motor abilities after humans.  We were not evolved for work in space and thus do not exhibit an optimal design.

> Given the transport problems over the last year (due to an overstretched infrastructure and too much institutional risk aversion) I have made the following "probable surprise": more transport system crashes will occur due to fairly normal fluctuations, and together with expanding IT infrastructure more and more people will be fine with at least social telepresence.

I have been expecting telework and telecommuting to be bigger than they are for a very long time.  It amazes me that hundreds of billion in production are wasted every year driving to jobs that can be done as well remotely.   Not to mention the energy costs and risk to life and limb.   But we chimps have to go to some location where a more or less alpha chimp can keep an eye on us and where we can send all the chimp signals on the evolution habituated channels.  

> Whether that can be carried over to useful telework remains to be seen.

It certainly can.  A large part of IBMs workforce is now remote.   We have to learn to do this anyway as many we could benefit by working with are not close enough to meet physically except a few times a year at most. 

> Maybe the future belongs to crowdsourcing things: the moonbase gets built by a Farmville-clone where millions of Facebook users play a game of construction for fabulous badges! (This is in fact the current plot in my Eclipse Phase rpg campaign)

Those that haven't read it may enjoy "This is not a game" by Walter Jon Williams. 

- samantha

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