[ExI] Echoes of the Invincible

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Jun 25 08:11:05 UTC 2013

On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 12:19:40AM -0400, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:

> Imagine we actually are the firstborn. An AI is created with a stable
> goal system, takes over the world, possibly eradicating us. The AI is

You just described something which can't be built by us, a
Darwinian system. Have you noticed how explicit-codifying
AI never went anywhere, and most people continued to plod
along, as if nothing happened? The task is much too hard
for anything less than a god (which can have arisen by
a darwinian design, and could plunk down a hyperfit brittle
system down in our midst which would flatten us, but be
a pitiful toy in the original context it arose in, which
*will* be expansive, so no chances for that hyperfit
oddness cropping up in our midst.

This is what I mean that there is no mechanism. People
armwave a lot, but that's unfortunately not enough.

> able to make non-mutating replicating versions of itself, capable of
> colonizing space at 0.99 c, and completely takes over every scrap of
> real estate where competing life can emerge (presumably only a subset
> of planets). Local microbes have no chance of ever evolving high
> enough levels of complexity to take on the AI. They can't even evolve

My scenario is exactly the same, except that there is no AI,
the first wavefront organisms are low-diversity and steamroll
across pristine stellar terrain and pre-expansive observers
alike, and subsequent organisim waves pass by adding complexity
and completely displacing pioneers, until a semi-steady simmering
state results, where the local ecosystem varies so widely
across relatively small compartments so that crossing over
species don't have an edge either way, and the result is 
entirely independant from the nucleating point that begat
that particular ecosystem. Which means that when these
meet, nothing exciting happens.

> to infect the AI's bodies - I am assuming that an AI could recompile
> (for lack of a better word) its physical implementation to always
> remain invulnerable to a crude replicator attack. The AI could switch

That's an undecidable problem, I'm afraid. Your brittle system
is at a disadvantage. The only way it could meta-stable is a population
of brittle monoclones, which will be wiped out completely if
it encounters an advanced darwinian system.

> between trillions of informatically equivalent but chemically
> completely different body designs, and a microbial biosphere would

The physics of this unverse results in convergent evolution for
omega-fit systems. This means the bottom layer is extremely
similiar (it looks conserved, as if it all came from the same
point of origin), though upper layers differ dramatically.

> never have a chance of getting a foothold, since a microbe always
> recognizes a small number of chemical characteristics of a target (a
> number limited by the size of a microbial genome).
> The intellectual history of the visible universe ends right there.

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