[ExI] Convergence

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Thu Oct 25 22:39:36 UTC 2012

Spike wrote:

>Another example: I know how to fix cars to some extent.  We could 
>imagine getting a call to help a little old lady whose Detroit 
>conked about two blocks from where you are now standing, and do you 
>have time to go take care of that, etc.  Might be just changing a 
>tire, or a bad alternator has drained the battery, so just go swap 
>out the battery, drive the car to your house and use that oddball 
>item you have on hand: in my case an alternator with fresh brushes 
>that will fit late 80s series Ford pickups.
>The point of all this: I can imagine a convergence of sorts between 
>virtual realities and meat-world real realities.  We could have 
>virtual currencies that reward the good-deed doer, or for that 
>matter, let people volunteer to help little old ladies for 
>nothing.   I would do it in most cases.  On a completely legitimate 
>non-illegitimate not-expecting-any-extramarital-anything basis of 
>course.  We could become a super-connected super-organism of sorts, 
>communicating constantly and making so many cool things happen, 
>legitimate things, and take care of our collective needs so 
>effectively, legitimate needs, such as mechanical repairs and 
>nothing biological you understand, unless the person has actual 
>medical training and skills.

This is a modest step from what we have already, with sites like freecycle
and barter exchanges. Your extension is in reducing the granularity. Like
going from "here are people you can talk about Xerxes with," on a mailing
list or forum, to "there's someone two gates down from you at the airport
who's up for a good game of chess." You're dependent on a trust level,
between you and the little old lady, between each of you and the site that
knows enough about each of you to facilitate a pairing, and between
each of you and anyone else who might access the information, with or
without authorization.

The answer lies, I think, in an area of distributed AI I used to think a lot
about, and maybe should get back to. Negotiation between mutually
suspicious autonomous agents. Although a single, large, trusted site
could work. (People rationally shouldn't trust an eBay as an intermediary
but they do.)

That area of DAI may be with us forever, even if we're all one big M-brain.
The nodes at level-21212 need not have a unity of thought and goals
with the nodes at level-387493.

-- David.

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