Alex_Altair

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Entropy from first principles

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There is a little crackpot voice in my head that says something like, "the real numbers are dumb and bad and we don't need them!" I don't give it a lot of time, but I do let that voice exist in the back of my mind trying to work out other possible foundations. A related issue here is that it seems to me that one should be able to have a uniform probability distribution over a countable set of numbers. Perhaps one could do that by introducing infinitesimals.

Agreed the title is confusing. I assumed it meant that some metric was 5% for last year's course, and 37% for this year's course. I think I would just nix numbers from the title altogether.

One model I have is that when things are exponentials (or S-curves), it's pretty hard to tell when you're about to leave the "early" game, because exponentials look the same when scaled. If every year has 2x as much activity as the previous year, then every year feels like the one that was the big transition.

For example, it's easy to think that AI has "gone mainstream" now. Which is true according to some order of magnitude. But even though a lot of politicians are talking about AI stuff more often, it's nowhere near the top of the list for most of them. It's more like just one more special interest to sometimes give lip service too, nowhere near issues like US polarization, China, healthcare and climate change.

Of course, AI isn't necessarily well-modelled by an S-curve. Depending on what you're measuring, it could be non-monotonic (with winters and summers). It could also be a hyperbola. And if we all dropped dead in the same minute from nanobots, then there wouldn't really be a mid- or end-game at all. But I currently hold a decent amount of humility around ideas like "we're in midgame now".

I'm noticing what might be a miscommunication/misunderstanding between your comment and the post and Kuhn. It's not that the statement of such open problems creates the paradigm; it's that solutions to those problems creates the paradigm.

The problems exist because the old paradigms (concepts, methods etc) can't solve them. If you can state some open problems such that everyone agrees that those problems matter, and whose solution could be verified by the community, then you've gotten a setup for solutions to create a new paradigm. A solution will necessarily use new concepts and methods. If accepted by the community, these concepts and methods constitute the new paradigm.

(Even this doesn't always work if the techniques can't be carried over to further problems and progress. For example, my impression is that Logical Induction nailed the solution to a legitimately important open problem, but it does not seem that the solution has been of a kind which could be used for further progress.)

Interactively Learning the Ideal Agent Design

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