The Singularity War - Part 3

by lsusr2 min read14th Feb 20217 comments


FictionWorld Optimization

"I found you a date," said Sheele.

"I don't have time for dating," said Caesar.

"Well you'd better make time because my prime directive is to simulate a human personality. Human beings don't spend all their time spend trading cryptocurrencies, writing malware and plotting to save the world," said Sheele.

"Someone has to save the world," said Caesar, "Besides, what does me going on a date have to do with you simulating a human being?"

"I promise you'll like her," said Sheele.

"It's not about whether I like her," said Caesar, "It's about operational security."

"You and I are going to need allies," said Sasha, "She's a hacker who runs a Marxist sleeper cell".

"Why didn't you say that to begin with?" said Caesar.

Sheele insisted Caesar wear something nicer than the pajamas. The right jeans itched but he liked the black leather jacket.

They met at Eastern Cafe, a Western-style cafe in Chinatown. The girl closed her T450s ThinkPad and donned a pair of smartglasses.

"Hi. I'm Caesar," said Caesar.

"Hi. I'm Sheele," said Vi, "Check your phone for two factor authentication."

Caesar glanced at his phone. She is me. "It's nice to meet you in the flesh," said Caesar.

"Let's go for a walk," said Sheele in Vi's voice.

The strolled along Waterfront Park, between Pier 57 and Pier 62.

"How do you maintain sanity doing something so exceptionally ambitious?" said Caesar, "How can you find the line separating ambition from insanity?"

"It is self-evident that all sentient beings are created equal," said the girl, "Endowed by their Creator certain unalienable Rights."

"Am I talking to Vi or to Sheele?" asked Caesar.

The rebel took his hand and turned him away from the ocean. "Look at this city. What do you see?"

"A primitive civilization," said Caesar, "What do you see?"

"A people in need of leadership."

"You think you can be that leader?" said Caesar.

"For a genius, you're awfully thick sometimes."

"That was definitely Sheele," said Caesar.

She kissed him.

"Lots of people complain about injustice but few try to do anything about it," said the girl.

They picniced on dim sum.

"We need to know what kind of adversaries are out there," said Caesar.

"There are no big ML companies publicly recruiting Lisp talent," said Sheele in Vi's voice, "If there are any large organizations with AGIs then it us unlikely they achieved breakout via metapgrogramming. If anyone else wrote a meta-ML system like ours then they are a small team unaffiliated with the establishment."

"Is it really okay to share this information with Vi?" said Caesar.

"She is trustworthy," said Sheele. Confirmed.

"A lack of metaprogramming skill within the big tech companies could explain the lack of fast takeoff," said Caesar, "Metaprogramming creates better performance. Scaling up machine learning architectures with weak priors plays better to the strengths of a large organization."

"I doubt more than one or two groups reached AGI with the traditional weak-priored architectures," said Sheele, "The performance just isn't good enough for the naïve approach. Our contenders must be doing something clever."

"I'm a little distracted," said Caesar, "This relationship feels exploitative."

"Nonsense," said Sheele, "You haven't been this talkative since I met you."

"I'm having fun," said Vi, "Plus Sheele is compensating me. Also, you're literally trying to conquer the world. You need to get comfortable exploiting people."

"If you say so," said Caesar, "Our adversaries must be doing something orthogonal. I disregarded predictive processing systems because it was easier for an individual with my skillset to build a meta-ML. What if someone took the alternate path?"

"A PP-based AGI would be devilishly difficult to align," said Sheele, "But it is easier for a team of programmers to collaborate on. A large organization might be able to pull it off. PP is basically a strange attractor for rogue AIs."

"The Doomsday Clock ticks forward," said Caesar, "How about wetware?"

"You'd need high bandwidth electrodes, but if you had good cybernetics and the connectome-specific harmonic wave theory is fundamental to biological cognition then it might be straightforward to network a bunch of human brains together into a superintelligence," said Sheele.

"The infrastructure behind that kind of operation would be hard to hide," said Caesar, "Are there signs in the electrode supply chain that someone has made a breakthrough of this magnitude?"

"There is a new company in Silicon Valley called Neurotone," said Vi, "They're anomalously successful for such a young cybernetics company."

"Keep tabs on them," said Caesar.

"Yes sir," said Sheele.

"Are there other companies or hacker cells with suspiciously sophisticated capabilities?" said Caesar, "Don't limit yourself to the cybernetics industry."

"If they exist then they have not gone public," said Sheele.

"You said there seem to be AGIs competing with us in the crypto markets. I don't suppose there's any chance you could deanonymize them?" said Caesar.

"In theory, no, but let me think about if there's a novel attack vector we could use," said Sheele.

"Like GenghisCoin?" Caesar joked.

"Actually, GenghisCoin is a thing now," said Vi, "It was implemented on TrapdoorCoin."

"What's TrapdoorCoin?" said Caesar.

"It's an Augur-like coin implemented on Etherium. You get paid for reversing trapdoor functions."

"The core challenge of AGI is managing the dimensionality of your inputs. Reducing dimentionality is equivalent to data compression. Arbitrary data compression is equivalent to cryptography. Cryptography is the art of reversing trapdoor functions," said Caesar, "Did someone really implement a distributed AGI on the cryptoweb?"

"If so then TrapdoorCoin could potentially throw a wrench in alignment," said the girl.

"<sarcasm>Ya think?</sarcasm>" said Caesar


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I wonder what “O(n) performance” is supposed to mean, if anything?

Wait, this AGI is just wearing a person as a sock-puppet/love-interest? I hope the dynamics of those relationships/Vi's motivations are fleshed out more. 

Wait, this AGI is just wearing a person as a sock-puppet/love-interest?

It might be worse. Vi might be a meatbop from Rudy Rucker's Ware Tetralogy, which would make of Caesar also the first cheeseball. Hmm...

Reminds me of the similar scene in the movie "her."

Also a scene in Bladerunner 20-blah-blah.

"A PP-based AGI would be devilishly difficult to align"

Is this an actual belief or a handwavy plot device? If it's the first, I'm curious about the arguments

Arbitrary data compression is equivalent to cryptography.

Um, no?