Cool post! I think the minimum viable "guardian" implementation, would be to
I tried to do something along these lines for youtube: https://github.com/filyp/yourtube
I couldn't find a good way to embed videos using ML, so I just scraped which videos recommend each other, and made a graph from that (which kinda is an embedding). Then I let users narrow down on some particular region of that graph. So you can not only avoid some nasty regions, but you can also decide what you want to watch right now, instead of the algorithm deciding for you. So this gives the user more autonomy.
The accuracy isn't yet too satisfying. I think the biggest problem with systems like these is the network effect - you could get much better results with some collaborative filtering.
Yeah, when I thought about it some more, maybe the smallest relevant physical change is a single neuron firing. Also with such a quantization, we cannot really talk about "infinitesimal" changes.
I still think that a single neuron firing, changing the content of experience so drastically, is quite hard to swallow. There is a sense in which all that mental content should "come from" somewhere.
I had a similar discussion with @benjamincosman, where I explore that in more detail. Here are my final thoughts from that discussion.
Oh, I've never stumbled on that story. Thanks for sharing it!
I think it's quite independent from my post (despite such a similar thought experiment) because I zoomed in on that discontinuity aspect, and Eliezer zoomed in on anthropics.
That's a good point. I had a similar discussion with @benjamincosman, so I'll just link my final thoughts: my comment
I thought about it some more, and now I think you may be right. I made an oversimplification when I implicitly assumed that a moment of experience corresponds to a physical state in some point in time. In reality, a moment of experience seems to span some duration of physical time. For example, events that happen within 100ms, are experienced as simultaneous.
This gives some time for the physical system to implement these discontinuities (if some critical threshold was passed).
But if this criticality happens, it should be detectable with brain imaging. So now it becomes an empirical question, that we can test.
I still doubt the formulation in IIT, that predicts discontinious jumps in experience, regardless of whether some discontinuity physically happens or not.
(BTW, there is a hypothetical mechanism that may implement this jump, proposed by Andres Gomez Emilsson - topological bifurcation.)
Hm, yeah, the smallest relevant physical difference may actually be one neuron firing, not one moved atom.
What I meant by between them, was that there would need to be some third substrate that is neither physical nor mental, and produces this jump. That's because in that situation discontinuity is between start and end position, so those positions are analogous to physical and mental state.
Any brain mechanism, is still part of the physical. It's true that there are some critical behaviors in the brain (similar to balls rolling down that hill). But the result of this criticality is still a physical state. So we cannot use a critical physical mechanism, to explain the discontinuity between physical and mental.
It just looks that's what worked in evolution - to have independent organisms, each carrying its own brain. And the brain happens to have the richest information processing and integration, compared to information processing between the brains.
I don't know what would be necessary to have a more "joined" existence. Mushrooms seem to be able to form bigger structures, but they didn't have an environment complex enough to require the evolution of brains.
It seems that we just never had any situations that would challenge this way of thinking (those twins are an exception).
This Cartesian simplification almost always works, so it seems like it's just the way the world is at its core.
Here, to have that discontinuity between input and output (start and end position), we need some mechanism between them - the system of ball, hill, and their dynamics. What's worse it needs to evolve for infinite time (otherwise the end still continuously depends on start position).
So I would say, this discontinuous jump "comes from" this system's (infinite) evolution.
It seems to me, that to have discontinuity between physical and mental, you would also need some new mechanism between them to produce the jump.
Oh yeah, definitely. I think such a system shouldn't try to enforce one "truth" - which content is objectively good or bad.
I'd much rather see people forming groups, each with its own moderation rules. And let people be a part of multiple groups. There's a lot of methods that could be tried out, f.e. some groups could use algorithms like EigenTrust, to decide how much to trust users.
But before we can get to that, I see a more prohibitive problem - that it will be hard to get enough people to get that system off the ground.