I wrote an AI Impacts page summary of the situation as I understand it. If anyone feels like looking, I'm interested in corrections/suggestions (either here or in the AI Impacts feedback box).
Looks good to me :)
A few quick thoughts on reasons for confusion:
I think maybe one thing going on is that I already took the coherence arguments to apply only in getting you from weakly having goals to strongly having goals, so since you were arguing against their applicability, I thought you were talking about the step from weaker to stronger goal direction. (I’m not sure what arguments people use to get from 1 to 2 though, so maybe you are right that it is also something to do with coherence, at least implicitly.)
It also seems natural to think of ‘weakly has goals’ as some... (read more)
Thanks. Let me check if I understand you correctly:
You think I take the original argument to be arguing from ‘has goals' to ‘has goals’, essentially, and agree that that holds, but don’t find it very interesting/relevant.
What you disagree with is an argument from ‘anything smart’ to ‘has goals’, which seems to be what is needed for the AI risk argument to apply to any superintelligent agent.
Is that right?
If so, I think it’s helpful to distinguish between ‘weakly has goals’ and ‘strongly has goals’:
Yes, that's basically right.
Well, I do think it is an interesting/relevant argument (because as you say it explains how you get from "weakly has goals" to "strongly has goals"). I just wanted to correct the misconception about what I was arguing against, and I wanted to highlight the "intelligent" --> "weakly has goals" step as a relatively weak step in our current arguments. (In my ori... (read more)
I meant: conditional on it growing faster, why expect this is attributable to a small number of technologies, given that when it accelerated previously it was not like that (if I understand)?
If throughout most of history growth rates have been gradually increasing, I don't follow why you would expect one technology to cause it to grow much faster, if it goes back to accelerating.
1) Even if it counts as a DSA, I claim that it is not very interesting in the context of AI. DSAs of something already almost as large as the world are commonplace. For instance, in the extreme, the world minus any particular person could take over the world if they wanted to. The concern with AI is that an initially tiny entity might take over the world.
2) My important point is rather that your '30 year' number is specific to the starting size of the thing, and not just a general number for getting a DSA. In particular, it does not apply to sma... (read more)
The time it takes to get a DSA by growing bigger depends on how big you are to begin with. If I understand, you take your 30 years from considering the largest countries, which are not far from being the size of the world, and then use it when talking about AI projects that are much smaller (e.g. a billion dollars a year suggests about 1/100,000 of the world). If you start from a situation of an AI project being three doublings from taking over the world say, then most of the question of how it came to have a DSA seems to be the question of how it grew the... (read more)