It seems likely that there will be a discontinuity in the process of AI self-improvement around the time when AIs become capable of doing AI theory. A lot of things have to go exactly right in order to get a slow takeoff, and there is no particular reason to expect them all to happen that way.
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This post is part of the Rerunning the Sequences series, where we'll be going through Eliezer Yudkowsky's old posts in order so that people who are interested can (re-)read and discuss them. The previous post was Whither Manufacturing?, and you can use the sequence_reruns tag or rss feed to follow the rest of the series.
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