Game Theory and the Golden Rule
jbone at place.org
jbone at place.org
Tue Dec 2 06:36:37 PST 2003
JR and Eugene opine:
> > Computational parity between intelligent agents is one of those
> pervasive
> > assumptions in human thinking and institutions based upon historical
> > reality, one that more or less asserts that 1) only humans are
> intelligent
> > agents, and that 2) all humans have functionally equivalent
> intelligence
> > (although this illusion frays at the extremes).
>
> It's very obvious, and truly remarkable how many people don't get
> that the game completely changes when the old rules no longer apply.
Let me qualify and expand on my statement a bit... first, the
reasoning I eluded to is helped by viewing the game series as infinite;
once you look at the series that way, there are only two
possibilities: playing the series as net zero-sum (in which case net
payoff is zero) and playing the series as net positive-sum (in which
case the net payoff is infinite.) Differences in effective
intelligence show up as mismatches in the rate at which the game can be
played. Assuming a willingness to play the game, this does *not*
actually effect the payoff matrix at all.
Now, one might ask why the more intelligent being might want to play
the game in the first place. And that's a valid question, one for
which we can probably have no good answer. But as long as the being
wants to play the game and views the series as potentially infinite,
then it seems that playing for net positive is the preferable strategy.
So the qualification here is that, I suppose, there are really three
possibilities: either the being in question is going to treat the
series of interactions as potentially infinite, with net positive
cooperative strategy; or they're going to view the game as finite, in
which case we get a Terminator-like scenario (and, well, too bad ---
probably unavoidable under some assumptions); or (worst) the being is
capricious and plays for perverse amusement in iteratively winning
net-zero interactions. Given that either of the latter two are
probably unavoidable under various assumptions in any interaction
between vastly different intelligences, I see no point in losing sleep
over them; OTOH, it seems to me that most intelligent beings will see
that even the occasional net-positive interaction is a boon, and will
treat the series and infinite and play for net-positive.
jb
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