To Mike Douglas regarding the below comment to my prior post:

I think your notion that post-grads with powerful machines would only
operate in the space of ideas that don’t work is unfair.

A lot of post-grads may be drones, but some of them are cranking some
really good stuff.  The article, Learning a Dictionary of Shape-Components
in Visual Cortex: Comparisons with Neurons, Humans and Machines, by Thomas
Serre (accessible by Google), which I cited the other day, is a prime

I don’t know about you, but I think there are actually a lot of very
bright people in the interrelated fields of AGI, AI, Cognitive Science,
and Brain science.  There are also a lot of very good ideas floating
around.  And having seen how much increased computing power has already
sped up and dramatically increased what all these fields are doing, I am
confident that multiplying by several thousand fold more the power of the
machine people in such fields can play with would greatly increase their

I am not a fan of huge program size per se, but I am a fan of being able
to store and process a lot of representation.  You can’t compute human
level world knowledge without such power.  That’s the major reason why the
human brain is more powerful than the brains of rats, cats, dogs, and
monkeys -- because it has more representational and processing power.

And although clock cycles can be wasted doing pointless things such as
do-nothing loops, generally to be able to accomplish a given useful
computational task in less times makes a system smarter at some level.

Your last paragraph actually seems to make an argument for the value of
clock cycles because it implies general intelligences will come through
iterations.  More opps/sec enable iterations to be made faster.

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

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Dougherty [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 5:20 PM
Subject: Re: [agi] Religion-free technical content

On 10/3/07, Edward W. Porter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> In fact, if the average AI post-grad of today had such hardware to
> play with, things would really start jumping.  Within ten years the
> equivents of such machines could easily be sold for somewhere between
> $10k and $100k, and lots of post-grads will be playing with them.

I see the only value to giving post-grads the kind of computing hardware
you are proposing is that they can more quickly exhaust the space of ideas
that won't work.  Just because a program has more lines of code does not
make it more elegant and just because there are more clock cycles per unit
time does not make a computer any smarter.

Have you ever computed the first dozen iterations of a sierpinski gasket
by hand?  There appears to be no order at all.  Eventually over enough
iterations the pattern becomes clear.  I have little doubt that general
intelligence will develop in a similar way:  there will be many apparently
unrelated efforts that eventually flesh out in function until they
overlap.  It might not be seamless but there is not enough evidence that
human cognitive processing is a seamless process either.

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