Artificial Intelligence researcher Jurgen Schmidhuber says his main scientific ambition “is to build an optimal scientist, then retire!”
The Cognitive Robotics professor has worked on problems including artificial ants and even robots that are taught how to tie shoelaces using reinforcement learning, but he believes algorithms can be written that allow the programming of curiosity itself. And he offers a fascinating metaphor for life after the development of AI.”It’s a bit like asking an ant of 10 million years ago: If humans were created tomorrow, what sort of implications do you think that would have for all the ant colonies?
“In hindsight we know that many ant colonies are still doing fine, but some of them (for example, those in my house) have goal conflicts with humans, and live dangerously.”
He’s also created art using algorithmic information theory, and describes the simple algorithmic principle that underlies subjective beauty and creativity. “All we need is (1) An adaptive predictor or compressor of the continually growing sensory data history… (2) A learning algorithm that continually improves the predictor or compressor… (3) Intrinsic rewards measuring the predictor’s or compressor’s improvements due to the learning algorithm, and (4) A reward optimizer or reinforcement learner that translates those rewards into action sequences expected to optimize future reward!”
And ultimately, he addresses the possibility that the entire Universe, including everyone in it, is in principle computable by a completely deterministic computer program!
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