Compression is wonderful—welcome to AGI: Artificial General Intelligence

Warren Kinston 2. February 2012 16:41

AGI Compression

THEE is its own compact world.  Many webpages in TOP are equivalent to a book.  Sometimes a paragraph, occasionally even a sentence or two, summarize a whole textbook containing elaborate explanations and vast amounts of evidence.  But, for me, a sentence or two is all that is required because the matter is so simple and so obvious—and so important.  So very important and, as it is a sentence, so memorable.

The compression of knowledge in THEE is enormous.  For those used to scanning—which I am told is the whole Millennial generation—TOP webpages must be the essence of frustration.  Perhaps the solution, for them, is to  use Twitter and send out the whole of TOP in separate tweets!

The same thing happened with my book Working with Values.  Unlike most books, you cannot scan a page to take in the message.  You scan a sentence and take in a message.  If you rush and don’t get the message, then the next sentence will be harder to scan.  And if you rush that, then by the time you end the paragraph you will be exhausted and confused.  You will then say the book is too hard—when it is really incredibly easy and efficient (compared to other ways of accessing the same material).

I’m not too keen on AI accounts of the mind, or human function, but there is a new initiative, AGI (artificial general intelligence) which is making more sense.  I found someone who seems more aware and somehow different from most: Juergen Schmidhuber.  In a fascinating 30 minute talk at the 2009 Singularity Summit, he makes the argument that compression is the formal principle underlying all creativity: art, music, and humour.

The critical thing is that compression should be rewarded by joy.  I certainly experience that repeatedly as frameworks emerge.  You are also rewarded by a thousand-fold speed in assessing situations (as per Juergen’s explanation).

The website, like the book, requires you to make all my discoveries yourself—but you get it easy, because you can avoid my blind alleys and extended periods of wrong thinking.

If you let yourself discover what is written in my webpages for yourself—and that is the way to read them—then you will have a great experience for free and it will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.

If you can point out where I have got it wrong, then you will be my benefactor as well.



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Warren Kinston is the creator of the THEE-Online website as an open forum for the further discovery and development of THEE. He writes this blog as an escape valve for the excitement and frustrations of the work. More info here.

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