Comment by simonf on LessWrong Help Desk - free paper downloads and more (2014) · 2015-07-23T22:20:08.832Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

They have a copy at our university library. I would need to investigate how to scan it efficiently, but I'm up for it if there isn't an easier way and noone else finds a digital copy.

Comment by simonf on Astronomy, space exploration and the Great Filter · 2015-05-18T21:27:10.890Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Definitely Main, I found your post (including the many references) and the discussion very interesting.

Comment by simonf on Debunking Fallacies in the Theory of AI Motivation · 2015-05-05T22:11:05.781Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I still agree with Eli and think you're "really failing to clarify the issue", and claiming that xyz is not the issue does not resolve anything. Disengaging.

Comment by simonf on Debunking Fallacies in the Theory of AI Motivation · 2015-05-05T21:12:50.696Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The paper had nothing to do with what you talked about in your opening paragraph

What? Your post starts with:

My goal in this essay is to analyze some widely discussed scenarios that predict dire and almost unavoidable negative behavior from future artificial general intelligences, even if they are programmed to be friendly to humans.

Eli's opening paragraph explains the "basic UFAI doomsday scenario". How is this not what you talked about?

Comment by simonf on Deregulating Distraction, Moving Towards the Goal, and Level Hopping · 2014-01-16T13:59:02.989Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

What's Worm? Oh, wait..

Comment by simonf on Meetup : First Meetup in Cologne (Köln) · 2013-10-24T10:09:47.011Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Awesome, a meetup in Cologne. I'll try to be there, too. :)

Comment by simonf on Does Checkers have simpler rules than Go? · 2013-08-20T16:04:52.654Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It depends on the skill difference and the size of the board, on smaller boards the advantage is probably pretty large: Discussion on LittleGolem

Comment by simonf on MIRI's 2013 Summer Matching Challenge · 2013-08-15T11:43:21.507Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

66$, with some help of a friend.

Comment by simonf on The Robots, AI, and Unemployment Anti-FAQ · 2013-07-26T21:32:16.074Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Regarding the drop of unemployment in Germany, I've heard it claimed that it is mainly due to changing the way the unemployment statististics are done, e.g. people who are in temporary, 1€/h jobs and still receiving benefits are counted als employed. If this point is still important, I can look for more details and translate.

EDIT: Some details are here:

It is possible to earn income from a job and receive Arbeitslosengeld II benefits at the same time. [...] There are criticisms that this defies competition and leads to a downward spiral in wages and the loss of full-time jobs. [...]

The Hartz IV reforms continue to attract criticism in Germany, despite a considerable reduction in short and long term unemployment. This reduction has led to some claims of success for the Hartz reforms. Others say the actual unemployment figures are not comparable because many people work part-time or are not included in the statistics for other reasons, such as the number of children that live in Hartz IV households, which has risen to record numbers.

Comment by simonf on 2012: Year in Review · 2013-01-03T14:13:25.616Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Nope, it's still broken.

Comment by simonf on Checking Kurzweil's track record · 2012-11-05T14:10:46.478Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I will do 20, too!

Comment by simonf on A cynical explanation for why rationalists worry about FAI · 2012-08-04T23:19:05.420Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Isn't "exploring many unusual and controversial ideas" what scientists usually do? (Ok, maybe sometimes good scientist do it...) Don't you think that science could contribute to saving the world?

Comment by simonf on Magic players: "How do I lose?" · 2012-07-16T13:45:28.829Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is a basic strategy in (and may be practiced by playing) the game of Hex).

Comment by simonf on General purpose intelligence: arguing the Orthogonality thesis · 2012-05-16T12:48:55.261Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

From 3.3

To do we would want to put the threatened agent

to do so(?) we would

From 3.4

an agent whose single goal is to stymie the plans and goals of single given agent

of a single given agent

From 4.1

then all self-improving or constructed superintelligence must fall prey to it, even if it were actively seeking to avoid it.

every, or change the rest of the sentence (superintelligences, they were)

From 4.5

There are goals G, such that an entity an entity with goal G

a superintelligence will goal G can exist.

Comment by simonf on Muehlhauser-Goertzel Dialogue, Part 2 · 2012-05-07T19:23:32.434Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You're right, but isn't this a needless distraction from the more important point, i.e. that it doesn't matter whether we humans find interesting or valueable what the (unfriendly-)AI does?

Comment by simonf on Risks from AI and Charitable Giving · 2012-03-15T02:04:49.327Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for making me find out what the Roko-thing was about :(

Comment by simonf on Draft of Muehlhauser & Salamon, 'Intelligence Explosion: Evidence and Import' · 2012-02-29T13:19:48.770Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Some very small things that caught my attention:

  • On page 6, you mention "Kryder's law" as support for the accelerator of "massive datasets". Clearly larger diskspace enables us to use larger datasets, but how will these datasets be created? Is it obvious that we can create useful, large datasets?

  • On page 10, you write (editability as an AI advantage) "Of course, such possibilities raise ethical concerns.". I'm not sure why this sentence is there, is editability the only thing that raises these concerns? If yes, what are these concerns specifically?

  • On page 13, you cite "Muehlhauser 2011", this should probably be "Muehlhauser 2012"

Comment by simonf on Connecting Your Beliefs (a call for help) · 2011-11-20T18:34:17.593Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The possibility of an intelligence explosion seems to be an extraordinary belief.

Extraordinary compared to what? We already now that most people are insane, so that belief beeing not shared by almost everybody doesn't make it unlikely a priori. In some ways the intellgence explosion is a straightforward extrapolation of what we know at the moment, so I don't think your critisism is valid here.

What evidence justified a prior strong enough as to be updated on a single paragraph, written in natural language, to the extent that you would afterwards devote your whole life to that possibility?

I think one could tell a reasonably competent physicist 50 years prior to Schrödinger how to derive quantum mechanics in one paragraph of natural language. Human language can contain lots of information, especially if speaker and listener already share a lot of concepts.

I'm not sure why you've written your comment, are you just using the opportunity to bring up this old topic again? I find myself irritated by this, even though I probably agree with you :)

Comment by simonf on Spencer Greenberg's TEDx talk: "Improve Your Life with Probability" · 2011-11-11T09:38:16.018Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, I'm glad you interpreted my comment as constructive criticism. Thanks for your efforts!

Comment by simonf on Spencer Greenberg's TEDx talk: "Improve Your Life with Probability" · 2011-11-10T20:50:53.823Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I found it incredibly annoying that he seems to think that uncertainty is in the territory.

Comment by simonf on 2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey · 2011-11-01T15:26:38.446Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Filled out the survey. The cryonics-question could use an option "I would be signed up if it was possible where I live."

Comment by simonf on Help needed: German translation of the Singularity FAQ · 2011-10-30T20:44:48.567Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm through the whole text now, did proofreading and changed quite a bit, some terminological questions remain.

Same here. All in all, great job everybody!

Comment by simonf on Yet another book on life extension - "100+", author: Sonia Arrison · 2011-09-22T19:39:57.977Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Video of the author and Aubrey de Grey at the fifth SENS conference

Comment by simonf on No Evolutions for Corporations or Nanodevices · 2011-08-16T13:02:28.443Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

My guess would be: If the integrity check gets corrupted, the mutated nanomachine could possibly "work", but if the decryption routine gets corrupted, the instructions can't get decrypted and the nanomachine wouldn't work.

Comment by simonf on Rationality Quotes July 2011 · 2011-07-15T10:48:35.842Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Don't you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don't you believe in telepathy? — in ancient astronauts? — in the Bermuda triangle? — in life after death? No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no. One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out "Don't you believe in anything?" "Yes", I said. "I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be."

Isaac Asimov

Comment by simonf on An Outside View on Less Wrong's Advice · 2011-07-08T13:57:18.235Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Please consider posting your reply here, I would be interested in reading it!

Comment by simonf on [SEQ RERUN] The Majority Is Always Wrong · 2011-06-30T10:16:54.713Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think to make it work we should add a third condition:

  1. There is only one dimension on which the alternatives are compared

If this condition is not satisfied, and people have different priorities for the different dimensions/criteria, the existence of multiple alternatives needs no further explanation, and we can't derive any conclusion about "betterness".

Comment by simonf on [SEQ RERUN] Tsuyoku Naritai! (I Want To Become Stronger) · 2011-06-29T09:15:52.742Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There is so much advice for self-improvement here and in the rest of the Internet! I personally use the following strategy:

  1. Save/bookmark everything that might be/become important
  2. Prioritize what you want to improve upon first, improve this, and start again
Comment by simonf on [SEQ RERUN] Blue or Green on Regulation? · 2011-06-28T11:06:33.748Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Being rational does not mean that you "improve" your arguments but never change the bottom line.

(Just saying, I'm not sure if you meant it that way.)

Comment by simonf on The True Rejection Challenge · 2011-06-28T09:35:37.294Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Tried it: Works!

Comment by simonf on Charles Stross: Three arguments against the singularity · 2011-06-23T10:59:15.949Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This may simply be because he is european, I have the feeling the she is not so well known/influential on this side of the atlantic. (My only evidence is that I first heard about her on Scott Aaronson's blog, incidentalliy where I first heard about Overcoming Bias, too.)

Comment by simonf on The Irrationality Game · 2011-06-23T10:31:15.287Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Clearly, I do not understand how this data point should influence my estimate of the probablity that general, computationally tractable methods exist.

Comment by simonf on The Irrationality Game · 2011-06-22T18:09:27.832Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't care about that specific formulation of the idea; maybe Robin Hanson's formulation that there exists no "grand unified theory of intelligence" is clearer? (link)

Comment by simonf on The Irrationality Game · 2011-06-22T14:24:54.771Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Of course you're right in the strictest sense! I should have included something along the lines of "an algorithm that can be efficiently computed", this was already discussed in other comments.

Comment by simonf on Charles Stross: Three arguments against the singularity · 2011-06-22T13:50:10.626Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

His argument seems much better to me, I tried(!) to make a point similar to "there is no grand unified theory of intelligence" here.

Comment by simonf on Sequence translations: Seeking feedback/collaboration · 2011-06-16T18:38:28.684Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I tried the second virtue. I'm wondering what good translation for "belief" and "the Way" are.

Comment by simonf on Might whole brain emulation require quantum-level emulation? · 2011-04-18T14:01:47.556Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The question is not whether "quantum computers can fundamentally be more efficient then classical computers", but if quantum mechanical entanglement can be used by the brain, which seems to be improbable. I asked a professor of biophysics about this issues, he knew about the result concerning photosynthesis and was pretty sure that QM does not matter for simulating the brain.

Comment by simonf on Verifying Rationality via · 2011-03-25T21:25:54.282Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW provides you with a $50 starting capital if you pass their quiz.

I've done this; I now have ca. 500$ without ever cashing in, but it took quite some time.

the feedback is NOT immediate.

This can not be said too often, the variance is quite high and it takes a lot of self-control to play consistently even if you've been losing money for a long time.

Comment by simonf on Where are we? · 2011-03-23T13:51:59.945Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Cologne, Germany

Xixidu, are you interested in a mini-lw-meetup in nrw?

Comment by simonf on Well-done documentary on the singularity: 'Transcendent Man' · 2011-03-06T19:24:44.349Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I find your phrasing to be dishonest, especially because you do provide arguments.

Comment by simonf on Are Interesting Problems Useful? · 2011-03-02T17:29:20.458Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You're right, and I think my observation strengthens your originial thesis that we should explicitly look for useful problems to research.

Comment by simonf on Are Interesting Problems Useful? · 2011-03-02T11:50:22.546Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If researchers are more likely to work on problems they find interesting, we will automatically find that most of the useful research was done by people who found it interesting. We will also find that there is a lot of useless research being done.

I think this is obviously the case, and the data therefore does not give evidence to the hypothesis that interestingness is a good heuristic for usefulness.

Comment by simonf on Are Interesting Problems Useful? · 2011-03-02T11:42:53.851Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I downvoted your post because I believe the flaw in your argument, as pointed out by jsteinhardt, is pretty obvious.

Comment by simonf on Are Interesting Problems Useful? · 2011-03-02T11:30:24.879Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Possible second step: Set up a prediction market.

Comment by simonf on Exercise and motivation · 2011-02-15T00:13:15.878Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If you really want to enjoy exercising more, find a sport you enjoy.

In my experience, this solves the problem of motivation completely. Try out something that is new and interesting in itself, different from past negative experiences, and do it simply because it's fun, without feeling an obligation to "exercise" or "stay fit".

Comment by simonf on Techniques for probability estimates · 2011-01-06T18:42:07.662Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I believe there is a straightforward way: Consider bets on events with known probability!

Comment by simonf on Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others... · 2010-12-25T12:44:04.495Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The reason for this is the compatibility of the blood types, for example O-negative-blood can be donated to everyone and is therefore used in emergencies where the blood type of the recipient is not known.

Comment by simonf on Explaining information theoretic vs thermodynamic entropy? · 2010-11-05T21:04:20.432Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Have you checked if your friends actually know statistical physics? Maybe they only know the thermodynamic concept of entropy, which could seem quite different from the information theoretic entropy.

This book explains at the beginning why entropy is not a measure for disorder, which seems to be a common misconception among physicists.

Comment by simonf on The Irrationality Game · 2010-10-06T12:26:54.836Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

But the number of possible board position is finite, and there is a rule that forces a draw if the same position comes up three times. (Here)

This claims that generalized chess is EXPTIME-complete, which is in agreement with the above.

Comment by simonf on The Irrationality Game · 2010-10-06T11:30:40.495Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Finding evidence for something is easy but isn't the sort of habit I like to encourage in myself.

My intention was merely to point out where I don't follow your argument, but your criticism in my formulation is valid.

"More impressive than humans" is a ridiculously low bar.

I agree, we can probably build far better problem-solvers for many problems (including problems of great practical importance)

algorithm that can in principle handle most any problem, given unlimited resources

My concern is more about what we can do with limited ressources, this is why I'm not impressed with the brute-force-solution

Even being able to construct ways to brute force stuff and tell whether the brute force solution is in fact a solution is possibly a more difficult thing to find in algorithm space than optimisations thereof.

This is true, I was mostly thinking about a pure search-problem where evaluting the solution is simple. (The example was chess, where brute-forcing leads to perfect play given sufficient ressources)