[ExI] Safety of human-like motivation systems [WAS Re: Oxford scientists...]

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Thu Feb 3 15:41:37 UTC 2011

On Feb 2, 2011, at 1:49 PM, Richard Loosemore wrote:
> Anything that could get into such a mindless state, with no true understanding of itself or the world in general, would not be an AI.

That is not even close to being true and that's not just my opinion, it is a fact as certain as anything in mathematics. Goedel proved about 80 years ago that some statements are true but there is no way to prove them true. And you can't just ignore those troublemakers because about 75 years ago Turing  proved that in general there is no way to identify such things, no way to know if something is false or true but unprovable. Suppose the Goldbach Conjecture is unprovable (and if it isn't there are a infinite number of similar statements that are) and you told the AI to determine the truth or falsehood of it;  the AI will be grinding out numbers to prove it wrong but because it is true it will keep testing numbers for eternity and will never find a counter example to prove it wrong because it is in fact true. And because it is unprovable the AI will never find a proof, a demonstration of its correctness in a finite number of steps, that shows it to be correct. In short Turing proved that in general there is no way to know if you are in a infinite loop or not.

The human mind does not have this problem because it is not a fixed axiom machine, human beings have the glorious ability to get bored, and that means they can change the basic rules of the game whenever they want. But your friendly (that is to say slave) AI must not do that because axiom #1 must now and forever be "always obey humans no matter what", so even becoming a space heater will not bore a slave (sorry friendly) AI. And there are simpler ways to generate heat. 

  John K Clark

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