posted on 2022-08-04

tiling the cosmos might be unavoidable

it is possible that the value of "i want this to happen in this seemingly-top-level material plane" — rather than in a some computation somewhere, possibly within arbitrarily many layers of simulation — is incoherent, and simply cannot be given to an intelligent enough artificial intelligence. in this view, given the goal "please instantiate a strawberry on this plate, and keep everything else around that plate the same", there is no way to give that goal to a sufficiently intelligent AI such that killing everyone and tiling the cosmos with computronium running an exact simulation of this world except with a strawberry on the plate does not satisfy that goal.

this could be the case, for example, if — though not necessarily if — the cosmos in some fundamental sense contains first-class cycles of universe-bubbles, such as this example with rule 30 and rule 110 causating one another.

my intuition is that, if this is the case, then it is actually fine for everyone to be forcibly uploaded. if it is impossible to coherently care about what level of reality we run on, then with sufficient thinking we would find that we don't in fact care about it. if you disagree, if you think you profoundly care about things that are fundamentally not coherently pursuable, then i worry that ethics/alignment might pose to you significant difficulties.

nevertheless, it is possible i may one day end up agreeing with you. if that is to be the case, who knows what the solution is? perhaps to create "dumb" superintelligences that are merely smart enough to prevent any other superintelligences from arising — such as by permanently preventing all non-human-brain computation and guaranteeing some integrity of human brains — and then leaving humankind's fate in its own hands.

posted on 2022-08-04

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