The Meaning of Life (was Ai vs. general intelligence)

Russell Turpin deafbox at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 20 21:33:39 PDT 2003


Jeff Bone:
>The most important "war" humanity is waging
>isn't against Iraq, or terrorism --- it's against entropy.

Tipler's omega point needs a closed universe.
Most recent estimates put matter at 10% to 40%
of what's required to reverse expansion. If
those estimates are even close, entropy
ultimately wins. Not even Dyson's eternal
intelligence escapes the heat death:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson%27s_eternal_intelligence

Of course, there's a huge leap between wanting
human and post-human intelligence to evolve and
continue for the next few eons, and worrying
about the decay of the final proton. ;-)

>A real intelligence is one with the interest..

See, the point of my previous post is that
there is a lot hidden under the cover of a
simple word like "interest." There are a lot
of similar words -- intent, motivation, concern
-- that we understand quite well when applied
to humans, and to a lesser extent when applied
to other animals, but that we haven't really
defined adequately that we are ready to apply
them to created intelligence in any equivalent
way. According to McCarthy, a thermostat has
intention and desire, to keep the temperature
within a certain range. That seems an overly
broad definition, for the purposes here. On the
other hand, defining these words so narrowly
that they apply only to people is overly
narrow. It's that middle range that is hard
to find. Yours is an interesting attempt to
find that middle ground, by combining interest
with ethical outlook and foresight. I suspect
we'll have to get better at this sometime soon.

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