All of scott loop's Comments + Replies

Which is more likely to result in a catastrophic outcome: a world war to reach AGI or AGI itself?

I believe a future event that results in a catastrophic loss of human life is much more likely to occur from a world war where factions race to ensure their side gets to AGI first than the likelihood of AGI itself causing a mass loss of human life. I think it’s safe to say the worst case AGI outcome would be much worse than this potential WWIII (no humans left vs some/few) but it seems there is very little discussion about preventing the war to reach AGI scenar... (read more)

I think that is right call. Anecdotal bad outputs would probably go viral and create media firestorm with the stochastic parrots twitter crowd beating them over the head along the way. Not sure you can ever get it perfect but they should probably get close before releasing public.

At the same time, a good math-solving chatbot could be really useful for math-averse people, even with brittle performance. I’m not sure it’s worth the risk, but might be worth considering.

Very nice post. One comment I'd add is that I have always been under the assumption by the time AGI is here many of the things you say it would need time to create humans will have already achieved. I'm pretty sure we will have fully automated factories, autonomous military robots that are novel in close quarters, and near perfect physics simulations, etc by the time AGI is achieved. 

Take the robots here for example. I think an AGI could potentially start making rapid advancements with the robots shown here: 

15-20 years from now do you really think an AGI would need do much alteration to the top Chinese or American AI technologies?

Thanks for the response. Definitely going to dive deeper into this.

Total noob here so I'm very thankful for this post. Anyway, why is there such certainty among some that a superintelligence would kill it's creators that are zero threat to it? Any resources on that would be appreciated. As someone who loosely follows this stuff, it seems people assume AGI will be this brutal instinctual killer which is the opposite of what I've guessed.

2DeLesley Hutchins1y
It's essentially for the same reason that Hollywood thinks aliens will necessarily be hostile.  :-) For the sake of argument, let's treat AGI as a newly arrived intelligent species.  It thinks differently from us, and has different values.  Historically, whenever there has been a large power differential between a native species and a new arrival, it has ended poorly for the native species.  Historical examples are: the genocide of Native Americans (same species, but less advanced technology), and the wholesale obliteration of 90% of all non-human life on this planet. That being said, there is room for a symbiotic relationship.  AGI will initially depend on factories and electricity produced by human labor, and thus will necessarily be dependent on humans at first.  How long this period will last is unclear, but it could settle into a stable equilibrium.  After all, humans are moderately clever, self-reproducing computer repair drones, easily controlled by money, comfortable with hierarchy, and which are well adapted to Earth's biosphere.  They could be useful to keep around. There is also room for an extensive ecology of many different superhuman narrow AI, each of which can beat humans within a particular domain, but which generalize poorly outside of that domain.  I think this hope is becoming smaller with time, though, (see, e.g. ,Gato), and it is not necessarily a stable equilibrium. The thing that seems clearly untenable is an equilibrium in which a much less intelligent species manages to subdue and control and much more intelligent species.
Rob Miles's video on Instrumental Convergence is about this, combine with Maximizers and you might have a decent feel for it.
In terms of utility functions, the most basic is: do what you want. "Want" here refers to whatever values the agent values. But in order for the "do what you want" utility function to succeed effectively, there's a lower level that's important: be able to do what you want.  Now for humans, that usually refers to getting a job, planning for retirement, buying insurance, planning for the long-term, and doing things you don't like for a future payoff. Sometimes humans go to war in order to "be able to do what you want", which should show you that satisfying a utility function is important. For an AI who most likely has a straightforward utility function, and who has all the capabilities to execute it(assuming you believe that superintelligent AGI could develop nanotech, get root access to the datacenter, etc.), humans are in the way of "being able to do what you want". Humans in this case would probably not like an unaligned AI, and would try to shut it down, or at least not die themselves. Most likely, the AI has a utility function that has no use for humans, and thus they are just resources standing in the way. Therefore the AI goes on holy war against humans to maximize its possible reward, and all the humans die.