Peripatesis: Forms of Superintelligence, Game Theory.

‘Peripatesis’ is a made-up word related to the word ‘peripatetic’, which is an adjective that means ‘roaming’ or ‘meandering’. I’ve always liked to think of knowledge as a huge structure through which a person could walk, sprint, dive, climb, or fly in as straightforward or peripatetic a fashion as they like.

Here’s are my recent wanderings and wonderings:

Bostrom, N. Superintelligence, p. 52-61

In chapter 3 Bostrom outlines three distinct forms a superintelligence could take:

speed superintelligence is one which functions in a similar fashion to a human mind but which does so much more quickly, like a whole-brain emulation. A collective superintelligence is a superintelligence comprised of a network of lesser intelligences, like an extremely well-run conglomeration of knowledge workers. And a quality superintelligence is one which functions at the same speed as a human mind but which, for architectural or other reasons, does so much better.

He also lists many advantages that a digital intelligence would have over a biological one: for example, electrical circuitry has much lower latencies than neural circuitry, and thus communication among the elements from which a computer-based mind is built would be much faster.

Luce, R., Raiffa, H. Games and Decisions, p. 1-12

This introductory volume to game theory begins by pointing out that ‘conflicts of interest’, situations in which several agents are trying to influence the outcome of a situation while not having full control of all the variables, is both very interesting to most people and at the heart of the discipline.

Game theory gets off the ground by making certain assumptions about the players involved, such as that they have consistent preferences and know the preferences of the other players. In real life of course this is almost never the case, but simplifying assumptions of this sort are often required in developing mathematical tools.

If such assumptions simplify too much, though, the insights gleaned won’t be of much use. Is this the case for game theory?

The authors promise to address this in later chapters, but point out that, at a minimum, game theory could be used to design experiments which could then be used to modify the assumptions of game theory.


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