>From what you say below it would appear human-level AGI would not require
recursive self improvement, because as you appear to define it human's
don't either (i.e., we currently don't artificially substantially expand
the size of our brain).

I wonder what percent of the AGI community would accept that definition? A
lot of people on this list seem to hang a lot on RSI, as they use it,
implying it is necessary for human-level AGI.

Edward W. Porter
Porter & Associates
24 String Bridge S12
Exeter, NH 03833
(617) 494-1722
Fax (617) 494-1822

-----Original Message-----
From: Linas Vepstas [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 12:19 PM
To: agi@v2.listbox.com
Subject: Re: [agi] Religion-free technical content

On Mon, Oct 01, 2007 at 10:40:53AM -0400, Edward W. Porter wrote:
> [...]
> RSI (Recursive Self Improvement)
> [...]
> I didn't know exactly what the term covers.
> So could you, or someone, please define exactly what its meaning is?
> Is it any system capable of learning how to improve its current
> behavior by changing to a new state with a modified behavior, and then
> from that new state (arguably "recursively") improving behavior to yet
> another new state, and so on and so forth?  If so, why wouldn't any
> system doing ongoing automatic learning that changed its behavior be
> an RSI system.

No; learning is just learning.

For example, humans are known to have 5 to 9 short-term memory "slots"
(this has been measured by a wide variety of psychology experiments, e.g.
ability to recall random data, etc.)

When reading a book, watching a movie, replying to an email, or solving
a problem, humans presumably use many or all of these slots (watching
a movie: to remember the characters, plot twists, recent scenes, etc.
Replying to this email: to remember the point that I'm trying to make,
while simultaneously composing a gramatical, pleasant-to-read sentence.)

Now, suppose I could learn enough neuropsychology to grow some extra
neurons in a petri dish, then implant them in my brain, and up my
short-term memory slots to, say, 50-100.  The new me would be like the old
me, except that I'd probably find movies and books to be trite
and boring, as they are threaded together from only a half-dozen
salient characteristics and plot twists (how many characters and
situations are there in Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice?
Might it not seem like a children's book, since I'll be able
to "hold in mind" its entire plot, and have a whole lotta
short-term memory slots left-over for other tasks?).

Music may suddenly seem lame, being at most a single melody line
that expounds on a chord progression consisting of a half-dozen chords,
each chord consisting of 4-6 notes.  The new me might come to like
multiple melody lines exploring a chord progression of some 50 chords,
each chord being made of 14 or so notes...

The new me would probably be a better scientist: being able to
remember and operate on 50-100 items in short term memory will likely
allow me to decipher a whole lotta biochemistry that leaves current
scientists puzzled.  And after doing that, I might decide that some other
parts of my brain could use expansion too.

*That* is RSI.


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