Adele Lopez

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[Epistemic status: very speculative]

One ray of hope that I've seen discussed is that we may be able to do some sort of acausal trade with even an unaligned AGI, such that it will spare us (e.g. it would give us a humanity-aligned AGI control of a few stars, in exchange for us giving it control of several stars in the worlds we win).

I think Eliezer is right that this wouldn't work.

But I think there are possible trades which don't have this problem. Consider the scenario in which we Win, with an aligned AGI taking control of our future light-cone. Assuming the Grabby aliens hypothesis is true, we will eventually run into other civilizations, which will either have Won themselves, or are AGIs who ate their mother civilizations. I think Humanity will be very sad at the loss of the civilizations who didn't make it because they failed at the alignment problem. We might even be willing to give up several star systems to an AGI who kept its mother civilization intact on a single star system. This trade wouldn't have the issue Eliezer brought up, since it doesn't require us to model such an AGI correctly in advance, only that that AGI was able to model Humanity well enough to know it would want this and would honor the implicit trade.

So symmetrically, we might hope that there are alien civilizations that both Win, and would value being able to meet alien civilizations strongly enough. In such a scenario, "dignity points" are especially aptly named: think of how much less embarrassing it would be to have gotten a little further at solving alignment when the aliens ask us why we failed so badly.

It seems relatively plausible that you could use a Limited AGI to build a nanotech system capable of uploading a diverse assortment of (non-brain, or maybe only very small brains) living tissue without damaging them, and that this system would learn how to upload tissue in a general way. Then you could use the system (not the AGI) to upload humans (tested on increasingly complex animals). It would be a relatively inefficient emulation, but it doesn't seem obviously doomed to me.

Probably too late once hardware is available to do this though.

So in a "weird experiment", the infrabayesian starts by believing only one branch exists, and then at some point starts believing in multiple branches?

If there aren't other branches, then shouldn't that be impossible? Not just in practice but in principle.

You can get some weird things if you are doing some weird experiment on yourself where you are becoming a Schrödinger cat and doing some weird stuff like that, you can get a situation where multiple copies of you exist. But if you’re not doing anything like that, you’re just one branch, one copy of everything.

Why does it matter that you are doing a weird experiment, versus the universe implicitly doing the experiment for you via decoherence? If someone else did the experiment on you without your knowledge, does infrabayesianism expect one copy or multiple copies?

If being versed in cryptography was enough, then I wouldn't expect Eliezer to claim being one of the last living descendents of this lineage.

Why would Zen help (and why do you think that)?

This may, perhaps, be confounded by the phenomenon where I am one of the last living descendants of the lineage that ever knew how to say anything concrete at all.

I've previously noticed this weakness in myself. What lineage did Eliezer learn this from? I would appreciate any suggestions or advice on how to become stronger at this.

[I may try to flesh this out into a full-fledged post, but for now the idea is only partially baked. If you see a hole in the argument, please poke at it! Also I wouldn't be very surprised if someone has made this point already, but I don't remember seeing such. ]

Dissolving the paradox of useful noise

A perfect bayesian doesn't need randomization.

Yet in practice, randomization seems to be quite useful.

How to resolve this seeming contradiction?

I think the key is that a perfect bayesian (Omega) is logically omniscient. Omega can always fully update on all of the information at hand. There's simply nothing to be gained by adding noise.

A bounded agent will have difficulty keeping up. As with Omega, human strategies are born from an optimization process. This works well to the extent that the optimization process is well-suited to the task at hand. To Omega, it will be obvious whether the optimization process is actually optimizing for the right thing. But to us humans, it is not so obvious. Think of how many plans fail after contact with reality! A failure of this kind may look like a carefully executed model which some obvious-in-retrospect confounders which were not accounted for. For a bounded agent, there appears to be an inherent difference in seeing the flaw once pointed out, and being able to notice the flaw in the first place.

If we are modeling our problem well, then we can beat randomness. That's why we have modeling abilities in the first place. But if we are simply wrong in a fundamental way that hasn't occurred to us, we will be worse than random. It is in such situations that randomization is in fact, helpful.

This is why the P vs BPP difference matters. P and BPP can solve the same problems equally well, from the logically omniscient perspective. But to a bounded agent, the difference does matter, and to the extent to which a more efficient BPP algorithm than the P algorithm is known, the bounded agent can win by using randomization. This is fully compatible with the fact that to Omega, P and BPP are equally powerful.

As Jaynes said:

It appears to be a quite general principle that, whenever there is a randomized way of doing something, then there is a nonrandomized way that delivers better performance but requires more thought.

There's no contradiction because requiring more thought is costly to a bounded agent.

You're missing the point!

Your arguments apply mostly toward arguing that brains are optimized for energy efficiency, but the important quantity in question is computational efficiency! You even admit that neurons are "optimizing hard for energy efficiency at the expense of speed", but don't seem to have noticed that this fact makes almost everything else you said completely irrelevant!

Going to try answering this one:

Humbali: I feel surprised that I should have to explain this to somebody who supposedly knows probability theory. If you put higher probabilities on AGI arriving in the years before 2050, then, on average, you're concentrating more probability into each year that AGI might possibly arrive, than OpenPhil does. Your probability distribution has lower entropy. We can literally just calculate out that part, if you don't believe me. So to the extent that you're wrong, it should shift your probability distributions in the direction of maximum entropy.

[Is Humbali right that generic uncertainty about maybe being wrong, without other extra premises, should increase the entropy of one's probability distribution over AGI, thereby moving out its median further away in time?]

The uncertainty must already be "priced in" your probability distribution. So your distribution and hence your median shouldn't shift at all, unless you actually observe new relevant evidence of course.

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