The Critical Rationalist View on Artificial Intelligence

Yes, there are situations were it can be harmful to state the truth. But there is a common social problem where people do not say what they think or water it down for fear of causing offense. Or because they are looking to gain status. That was the context.

The truth that curi and myself are trying to get across to people here is that you are doing AI wrong and are wasting your lives. We are willing to be ridiculed for stating that but it is the unvarnished truth. AI has been stuck in a rut for decades with no progress. People kid themselves that the latest shiny toy like Alpha Zero is progress but it is not.

AI research has bad epistemology at its heart and this is holding back AI in the same way that quantum physics was held back by bad epistemology. David Deutsch had a substantial role in clearing that problem up in QM (although there are many who still do not accept multiple universes). He needed the epistemology of CR to do that. See The Fabric of Reality.

Curi, Deutsch, and myself know far more about epistemology than you. That again is an unvarnished truth. We are saying we have ideas that can help get AI moving. In particular CR. You are blinded by things you think are so but that cannot be. The myth of Induction for one.

AI is blocked -- you have to consider that some of your deeply held ideas are false. How many more decades do you want to waste? These problems are too urgent for that.

The Critical Rationalist View on Artificial Intelligence

People are overly impressed by things that animals can do such as dogs opening doors and think the only explanation is that they must be learning. Conversely, people think children being good at something means they have an in-born natural talent. The child is doing something way more remarkable than the dog but does not get to take credit. The dog does.

The Critical Rationalist View on Artificial Intelligence

I would be happy to rewrite the first line to say: An entity is either a UKC or it has zero -- or approximately zero -- potential to create knowledge. Does that help?

The Critical Rationalist View on Artificial Intelligence

Can we agree that I am not trying to prosthelytize anyone? I think people should use their own minds and judgment and I do not want people just to take my word for something. In particular, I think:

(1) All claims to truth should be carefully scrutinised for error.

(2) Claiming authority or pointing skyward to an authority is not a road to truth.

These claims should themselves be scrutinised for error. How could I hold these consistently with holding any kind of religion? I am open to the idea that I am wrong about these things too or that I am inconsistent.

I also think claims to truth should not be watered down for social reasons. That is to disrespect the truth. People can mistake not watering down the truth for religious fervour and arrogance.

The Critical Rationalist View on Artificial Intelligence

he proposes that humans are universal constructors, able to build anything. Observation: there are some things humans as they currently are cannot construct, as we currently are we cannot actually arbitrarily order atoms any way we like to perform any task we like. The worlds smartest human can no more build a von neuman probe right now than the worlds smartest border collie.

Our human ancestors on the African savannah could not construct a nuclear reactor, nor the skyline of Manhattan, nor an 18 core microprocessor. They had no idea how. But they had in them the potential and that potential has been realized today. To do that, we created deep knowledge about how our universe works. Why you think that is not going to continue? Why should we not be able to construct a von Neumann probe at some point in the future? Note that most of the advances I am talking about occurred in the last few hundred years. Humans had a big problem with static memes preventing progress for millennia (see BoI). If not for those memes, we may well be at the stars by now. While humans made all this progress, dolphins and border collies did what?

The Critical Rationalist View on Artificial Intelligence

If someone points to an AI that can generate scientific hypothesis, design novel experiments to attempt to falsify them and run those experiments in ways that could be applied to chemistry, cancer research and cryonics you'd just declare that those weren't different enough domains because they're all science and then demand that it also be able to control pianist robots and scuba dive and run a nail salon.

We have given you criteria by which you can judge an AI: whether it is a UKC or not. As I explained in the OP, if something can create knowledge in some disparate domains then you have a UKC. We will be happy to declare it as such. You are under the false idea that AI will arrive by degrees, that there is such a thing as a partial UKC, and that knowledge creators lie on a continuum with respect to their potential. AI will no more arrive by degrees than our universal computers did. Universal computation came about through Turing in one fell swoop, and very nearly by Babbage a century before.

You underestimate the difficulties facing AI. You do not appreciate how truly different people are to other animals and to things like Alpha Zero.

EDIT: That was meant to be in reply to HungryHobo.

The Critical Rationalist View on Artificial Intelligence

Critical Rationalists think that E. T. Jaynes is confused about a lot of things. There has been discussion about this on the Fallible Ideas list.

The Critical Rationalist View on Artificial Intelligence


Everything he says in that video is in accord with CR and with what I wrote about how we acquire knowledge. Note how the audience laughs when he says you start with a guess. What he says is in conflict with how LW thinks the scientific method works (like in the Solomonoff guide I referenced).

The Critical Rationalist View on Artificial Intelligence

Millions of people have incorrect beliefs about vaccines, millions more are part of new age groups which have embraced confused and wrong beliefs about quantum physics (often related to utterly misunderstanding the term "Observer" as used in physics) ...

You are indirectly echoing ideas that come from David Deutsch. FYI, Deutsch is a proponent of the Many Worlds Explanation of quantum physics and he invented the idea of the universal quantum computer, founding quantum information theory. He talks about them in BoI.

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