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Which are the useful areas of AI study?

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A RSS feed for new posts is highly desirable - I don't generally go to websites "polling" for new information that may or may not be there unless e.g. I'm returning to a discussion that I had yesterday, so a "push mechanism" e.g. RSS is essential to me.

I'm going to go out and state that the chosen example of "middle school students should wear uniforms" fails the prerequisite of "Confidence in the existence of objective truth", as do many (most?) "should" statements.

I strongly believe that there is no objectively true answer to the question "mid...(read more)

The most important decisions are *before* starting a war, and there the mistakes have very different costs. Overestimating your enemy results in peace (or cold war) which basically means that you just lose out on some opportunistic conquests but underestimating your enemy results in a bloody, unexpe...(read more)

"Are we political allies, or enemies?" is rather orthogonal to that - your political allies are those whose actions support your goals and your political enemies are those whose actions hurt your goals.

For example, a powerful and popular extreme radical member of the "opposite" camp that has concl...(read more)

The difference is that there are many actions that help other people but don't give an appropriate altruistic high (because your brain doesn't see or relate to those people much) and there are actions that produce a net zero or net negative effect but do produce an altruistic high.

The built-in ca...(read more)

An interesting followup to your example of an oiled bird deserving 3 minutes of care that came to mind:

Let's assume that there are 150 million suffering people right now, which is a completely wrong random number but a somewhat reasonable order-of-magnitude assumption. A quick calculation estimate...(read more)

I'd read it as an acknowledgement that any intelligence has a cost, and if your food is passive instead of antagonistic, then it's inefficient (and thus very unlikely) to put such resources into outsmarting it.

If animal-complexity CNS is your criteria, then humans + octopuses would be a counterexample, as urbilaterals wouldn't be expected to have such a system, and the octopus intelligence has formed separately.

A gold-ingot-manufacturing-maximizer can easily manufacture more gold than exists in their star system by using arbitrary amounts of energy to create gold, starting with simple nuclear reactions to transmute bismuth or lead into gold and ending with direct energy to matter to gold ingots process.

F...(read more)

Dolphins are able to herd schools of fish, cooperating to keep a 'ball' of fish together for a long time while feeding from it.

However, taming and sustained breeding is a long way from herding behavior - it requires long term planning for multi-year time periods, and I'm not sure if that has been ...(read more)