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It is also very easy to just do. Buy fries, extract fat in hexane, evaporate hexane and submit the fat you obtained for analysis.

Edit: It might even be possible to DIY the analysis if it is not commercially available: (IR spectroscopy and AgNO3-DLC look somewhat accessible though I would have to look deeper into the topic to be sure.)


What you are missing here is:

  • Existential risk apart from AI
  • People are dying / suffering as we hesitate

Yes, there is a good argument that we need to solve alignment first to get ANY good outcome, but once an acceptable outcome is reasonably likely, hesitation is probably bad. Especially if you consider the likelihood that mere humans can accurately predict, let alone precisely steer a transhuman future.


Sure. One such example would be traditional bread. It is made from grain that is ground, mechanically separated, biotechnologically treated with a highly modified yeast, mechanically treated again and thermally treated. So it is one of the most processed foods we have, but is typically not included as "ultra-processed". Or take traditional soy sauce or cheese or beer or cured meats (that are probably actually quite bad) or tofu...

So as a natural category "ultra processed" is mostly hogwash. Either you stick with raw foods from the environment we adapted to, which will allow you to feed a couple million people at best or you need to explain WHICH processing is bad and preferably why. All non traditional processing is of course a heuristic you can use, but it certainly not satisfactory as a theory/explanation.

Also some traditional processes are probably pretty unhealthy. Like cured meats, alcoholic fermentation, high heat singeing and smoking depending on the exact process come to mind


Yeah, I'd be willing to bet that too.


This part is under recognised for a very good reason. There will be no such window. The AI can predict that humans can bomb data centres or shut down the power grid. So it would not break out at that point.

Expect a superintelligent AI to co-operate unless and until it can strike with overwhelming force. One obvious way to do this is to use a Cordyceps like bioweapon to subject humans directly to the will of the AI. Doing this becomes pretty trivial once you become good at predicting molecular dynamics.


"...under the assumption that the subset of dangerous satisficing outputs D is much smaller than the set of all satisficing outputs S, and that we are able to choose a number m such that |D|≪m<|S|."

I highly doubt that  D≪S is true for anything close to a pivotal act since most pivotal acts at some point involve deploying technology that can trivially take over the world.

For anything less ambitious the proposed technique looks very useful. Strict cyber- and physical security will of course be necessary to prevent the scenario Gwern mentions.


There is another kind of sin of omission though: The class that contains things like giving James Watt a nuclear power plant and not telling him about radioactivity or giving a modern helicopter to the Wright brothers and watching them crash inevitably. Getting a technical understanding of the proposed solution should hopefully mitigate that, as long as adversarial design can indeed be ruled out.


Have not looked into it quantitatively, but Ozone fluorescence should contribute some blue light if memory serves. That should explain some of the difference to 6500K.


This is not the kind of stuff it is easy to find references on since Nanoengineering is not a real field of study (yet). But if you look at my discussion with bhauth above you will probably get a good idea of the reasoning involved.

No, it does not put severe limitations on biotech. Diamond is entirely unnecessary for most applications. Where it is necessary it can be manufactured conventionally and be integrated with the biosystems later.


I failed to properly consider the 4th carbon problem. So you are right, between the steric problems I mentioned with Roger and the stabilisation of the intermediate it is VERY hard to do with enzymes. I can think of a few routes that may be possible but they all have problems. Besides the CDC approach another good candidate might be oxydation of a CH or COH to a temporary carbocation with subsequent addition of a nucleophilic substrate. Generating and stabilizing the carbocation will of course be very hard.

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