Today's post, Brain Emulation and Hard Takeoff was originally published on November 22, 2008. A summary:

 

A project of bots could start an intelligence explosion once it got fast enough to start making bots of the engineers working on it, that would be able to operate at greater than human speed. Such a system could also devise a lot of innovative ways to acquire more resources or capital.


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Was this written before the existence of things like Amazon Cloud? It seems fairly obvious that EMs would be run in a way where what matters is not some slow to change piece of hardware you own, but fungible computing cycles you can buy however many you can afford at a fixed price at any given second.

Depends on whether the EMs rely on custom hardware.

Has there been some previous discussion of reliance on custom hardware? My cursory search didn't turn anything up.

There is no reason for them to do that and a million reasons for them not to.

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There is no reason for them to do that

Why? Cutting edge computation frequently requires custom hardware.