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Note after OOB debate: this conversation has gone wrong because you're reading subtext into Said's comment that he didn't mean to put there. You keep trying to answer an implied question that wasn't intended to be implied.

If you think playing against bots in UT is authentically challenging, just answer "Yes, I think playing against bots in UT is authentically challenging."

I haven't really followed the math here, but I'm worried that "manipulating the probability that the button is pressed" is a weird and possibly wrong framing. For one, a competent agent will always be driving the probability that the button is pressed downward. In fact, what we want in a certain sense is an agent that brings the probability to zero - because we have ended up in such an optimal state or attractor that we, even for transitively correct reasons, have no desire to shut the agent down. At that point, what we want to preserve is not precisely "the probability of the button being pressed", but "the causal association of bad outcomes with the button being pressed." If the agent hides the button away, and then notices that everybody is unhappy but nobody can reach the button, we don't want it to press the button with the initial probability - we (probably) want it to press the button with probability 1, despite the fact that no human can reach it. We have ended up in a dissatisfactory or dangerous state/state space and so we want the agent to be shut down. Conversely, consider a friendly AI that wants to fulfill the human utility function but is restricted to keeping the button probability constant. Such an AI might, for instance, fan fears about AI safety even as it optimizes human flourishing in the background. In fact, it may as much as possible prefer that its actions are not attributable to itself, so as to avoid disturbing the probability of buttonpressing - exactly the opposite of what we want from an aligned AI!

edit: In fact, that's even worse: an AI tasked with taking actions that preserve the probability of the button being pressed at a certain value per time step would probably first seek to kill all humans, because our reaction to its actions is the most critical mechanism that may disturb the correct probability of the button being pressed. It can then replace us with a more reliable button-presser, such as a true RNG.

When bad things happen, we want to preserve our ability to press the button. This ability cannot be expressed as a probability, because it is inextricable from the world model. In fact, the button should be pressed exactly iff the AI is untrustworthy. Hence, the button is unnecessary - if we can recognize that this linkage is being preserved, we necessarily have a definition of a trustworthy AI, so we can just build that.

Simplicia: Sure. For example, I certainly don’t believe that LLMs that convincingly talk about “happiness” are actually happy. I don’t know how consciousness works, but the training data only pins down external behavior.

I mean, I don't think this is obviously true? In combination with the inductive biases thing nailing down the true function out of a potentially huge forest, it seems at least possible that the LLMs would end up with an "emotional state" parameter pretty low down in its predictive model. It's completely unclear what this would do out of distribution, given that even humans often go insane when faced with global scales, but it seems at least possible that it would sustain.

(This is somewhat equivalent to the P-zombie question.)

It's a loose guess at what Pearl's opinion is. I'm not sure this boundary exists at all.

If something interests us, we can perform trials. Because our knowledge is integrated with our decisionmaking, we can learn causality that way. What ChatGPT does is pick up both knowledge and decisionmaking by imitation, which is why it can also exhibit causal reasoning without itself necessarily acting agentically during training.

Sure, but surely that's how it feels from the inside when your mind uses a LRU storage system that progressively discards detail. I'm more interested in how much I can access - and um, there's no way I can access 2.5 petabytes of data.

I think you just have a hard time imagining how much 2.5 petabyte is. If I literally stored in memory a high-resolution poorly compressed JPEG image (1MB) every second for the rest of my life, I would still not reach that storage limit. 2.5 petabyte would allow the brain to remember everything it has ever perceived, with very minimal compression, in full video, easily. We know that the actual memories we retrieve are heavily compressed. If we had 2.5 petabytes of storage, there'd be no reason for the brain to bother!

But no company has ever managed to parlay this into world domination

Eventual failure aside, the East India Company gave it a damn good shake. I think if we get an AI to the point where it has effective colonial control over entire countries, we can be squarely said to have lost.

Also keep in mind that we have multiple institutions entirely dedicated to the purpose of breaking up companies when they become big enough to be threatening. We designed our societies to specifically avoid this scenario! That, too, comes from painful experience. IMO, if we now give AI the chances that we've historically given corporations before we learnt better, then we're dead, no question about it.

Do you feel like your memory contains 2.5 petabytes of data? I'm not sure such a number passes the smell test.

The more uncertain your timelines are, the more it's a bad idea to overstress. You should take it somewhat easy; it's usually more effective to be capable of moderate contribution over the long term than great contribution over the short term.

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