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4, 5, and 6 are not separate steps - when you only have 1 example, the bits to find an input that generates your output are not distinct from the bits specifying the program that computes output from input.

Yeah my guess is that you almost certainly fail on step 4 - an example of a really compact ray tracer looks like it fits in 64 bytes. You will not do search over all 64 byte programs. Even if you could evaluate 1 of them per atom per nanosecond using every atom in the universe for 100 billion years, you'd only get 44.6 bytes of search.

Let's go with something more modest and say you get to use every atom in the milky way for 100 years, and it takes about 1 million atom-seconds to check a single program. This gets you about 30 bytes of search.

Priors over programs will get you some of the way there, but usually the structure of those priors will also lead to much much longer encodings of a ray tracer. You would also need a much more general / higher quality ray tracer (and thus more bits!) as well as an actually quite detailed specification of the "scene" you input to that ray tracer (which is probably way more bits than the original png).

The reason humans invented ray tracers with so much less compute is that we got ray tracers from physics and way way way more bits of evidence, not the other way around.

This response is totally absurd. Your human priors are doing an insane amount of work here - you're generating an argument for the conclusion, not figuring out how you would privilege those hypotheses in the first place.

See that the format describes something like a grid of cells, where each cell has three [something] values.

This seems maybe possible for png (though it could be hard - the pixel data will likely be stored as a single contiguous array, not a bunch of individual rows, and it will be run-length encoded, which you might be able to figure out but very well might not - and if it's jpg compressed this is even further from the truth).

Come up with the hypothesis that the grid represents a 2d projection of a 3d space (this does not feel like a large jump to me given that ray tracers exist and are not complicated, but I can go into more detail on this step if you’d like).

It's a single frame, you're not supposed to have seen physics before. How did ray tracers enter into this? How do you know your world is 3D, not actually 2D? Where is the hypothesis that it's a projection coming from, other than assuming your conclusion?

Determine the shape of the lens by looking at edges and how they are distorted.

How do you know what the shapes of the edges should be?

If the apple is out in sunlight, I expect that between the three RGB channels and the rainbows generated by chromatic aberration would be sufficient to determine that the intensity-by-frequency of light approximately matches the blackbody radiation curves (though again, not so much with that name as just “these equations seem to be a good fit”)..

What's "sunlight"? What's "blackbody radiation"? How would a single array of numbers of unknown provenance without any other context cause you to invent these concepts?

10 million times faster is really a lot - on modern hardware, running SOTA object segmentation models at even 60fps is quite hard, and those are usually much much smaller than the kinds of AIs we would think about in the context of AI risk.

But - 100x faster is totally plausible (especially w/100x the energy consumption!) - and I think the argument still mostly works at that much more conservative speedup.

for me it mostly felt like I and my group of closest friends were at the center of the world, with the last hope for the future depending on our ability to hold to principle. there was a lot of prophesy of varying qualities, and a lot of importance placed suddenly on people we barely knew then rapidly withdrawn when those people weren't up for being as crazy as we were.

This seems roughly on point, but is missing a crucial aspect - whether or not you're currently a hyper-analytical programmer is actually a state of mind which can change. Thinking you're on one side when actually you've flipped can lead to some bad times, for you and others.

I don't know how everyone else on LessWrong feels but I at least am getting really tired of you smugly dismissing others' attempts at moral reductionism wrt qualia by claiming deep philosophical insight you've given outside observers very little reason to believe you have. In particular, I suspect if you'd spent half the energy on writing up these insights that you've spent using the claim to them as a cudgel you would have at least published enough of a teaser for your claims to be credible.

I disagree that GPT’s job, the one that GPT-∞ is infinitely good at, is answering text-based questions correctly. It’s the job we may wish it had, but it’s not, because that’s not the job its boss is making it do. GPT’s job is to answer text-based questions in a way that would be judged as correct by humans or by previously-written human text. If no humans, individually or collectively, know how to align AI, neither would GPT-∞ that’s trained on human writing and scored on accuracy by human judges.

This is actually also an incorrect statement of GPT's job. GPT's job is to predict the most likely next token in the distribution its corpus was sampled from. GPT-∞ would give you, uh, probably with that exact prompt a blog post about a paper which claims that it solves the alignment problem. It would be on average exactly the same quality as other articles from the internet containing that text.

I think this is a persistent difference between us but isn't especially relevant to the difference in outcomes here.

I'd more guess that the reason you had psychoses and I didn't had to do with you having anxieties about being irredeemably bad that I basically didn't at the time. Seems like this would be correlated with your feeling like you grew up in a Shin Sekai Yori world?

hmm... this could have come down to spending time in different parts of MIRI? I mostly worked on the "world's last decent logic department" stuff - maybe the more "global strategic" aspects of MIRI work, at least the parts behind closed doors I wasn't allowed through, were more toxic? Still feels kinda unlikely but I'm missing info there so it's just a hunch.

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