You should worry more about whether MIRI's way of doing problems is a good way of solving hard problems, not how hard the problems are.

Problem difficulty is a constant you cannot affect, social structure is a variable.


As I read through the Agenda, I can hear Anna Salamon telling me something along the lines of: if you think something is a rational course of action, the antecedents to that course must neccersarily be rational or you are wrong. She doesn't explain it like that and I cant first that poplar thread but whatever...

Now reviewing the research agenda, there are some things which concern me about their way of doing problem solving. I'd appreciate anyone's input, challenges, clarification and additions:

..We focus on research that cannot be safely delegates to ma

... (read more)
2gjm5yI mostly agree, but: You can affect "problem difficulty" by selecting harder or easier problems. It would still be right not to be discouraged about MIRI's prospects if (1) the hard problems they're attacking are hard problems that absolutely need to be solved or (2) the hardness of the problems they're attacking is a necessary consequence of the hardness (or something) of other problems that absolutely need to be solved. But it might turn out, e.g., that the best road to safe AI takes an entirely different path from the ones MIRI is exploring, in which case it would be a reasonable criticism to say that they're expending a lot of effort attacking intractably hard problems rather than addressing the tractable problems that would actually help.

Open thread, Oct. 19 - Oct. 25, 2015

by MrMind 1 min read19th Oct 2015198 comments


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.

Notes for future OT posters:

1. Please add the 'open_thread' tag.

2. Check if there is an active Open Thread before posting a new one. (Immediately before; refresh the list-of-threads page before posting.)

3. Open Threads should be posted in Discussion, and not Main.

4. Open Threads should start on Monday, and end on Sunday.