6 Jun 2009 mentifex   » (Master)


#summary The milestone from which an artificial 
intelligence lives potentially forever 


MileStones ReJuvenate 



=== Definition ===

_Quickening_ is the stage in AGI development when the main software module of the AGI comes alive as a program that runs continuously. We derive the term quickening from the notion of the quick and the dead as opposites, and from the idea of the quickening in the womb, when an expectant mother begins to feel the movements of the baby growing within her.

AGI development is different from other software development. If you write a program that performs a single operation and then stops, the software does not quicken and come alive. If you write a chess program that answers your every move with a move of its own, the software does not quicken, because the software does not hum with activity while it waits for you. If you write a home-monitoring software system that constantly checks your burglar-alarm system and the temperature and the presence or absence of smoke in the air, that software has not truly quickened because it is only passively waiting for something to happen, like a word-processor waiting for you to type in a word.

When you are creating an artificial general intelligence (AGI), at some point the software has to quicken by running indefinitely. An AGI has to iterate endlessly through its MainLoop or the equivalent thereof. It must not run one time and then stop. It must be a form of artificial life (alife).

The early milestone stage of Quickening is not hard to achieve, but it does draw out from you some careful planning, such as in the area of what sort of modules you want to be the constituent parts of your fullblown AGI. To get your AGI software to quicken, you only need to stub in most of the modules and to elaborate at least one of the modules to get the AGI to exhibit some rudimentary behavior that will demonstrate the quickening. Any module for the user interface is a good one to code more profoundly than the mere stubs, because the user interface makes it obvious that something is happening inside the AGI. The event happening in the AGI may not yet be thinking or self- awareness or superintelligence, but you may have the user interface do something like counting elapsed time or declaring various system parameters such as available memory space or open channels of communication. As in human evolution, where ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny and therefore a baby in the womb goes through fishlike stages that disappear before a human being is born, your neonatal AGI may include software elements that you will remove as the AGI matures. Beware, however, of one trap. Do not let the performance of the AGI software be dependent on the presence of input from a human user. Your emerging AGI is not some unintelligent, idiot word- processor. Only give the human user a window of opportunity to enter input or to communicate somehow (send a tweet?) with the machine intelligence. Slam the window shut periodically and let the AGI do its own thing for a few looping cycles. Then check again for user input. Let nothing be a show-stopper. Eventually your AGI, or somebody's AGI, is going to outlive all human beings currently alive on this planet. Get used to it, get over it, and get on with it.

=== Variations ===

Normally the software of an artificial mind a first time and then many other times in the course of trial runs, especially during PortingOfCode from one programming language to another. If the AiMind were coded in a Dylanesque dynamic language that can be changed on the fly, conceivably an AI could quicken at a young age and continue running even as modifications were performed on the running code.

Although Quickening starts when the Mind program runs indefinitely, Quickening fails if the AiMind runs out of memory space. As a mind designer you have two choices: A) provide infinite memory; or B) provide infinite looping. If you are a deity designing human beings, you only need to provide enough memory for a lifetime. You may be designing a potentially immortal AiMind, in which case, God, that's a hard one. You work wonders in mysterious ways, but we mortal human beings must design our immortal successor species more pragmatically. Since the MainLoop itself does not have infinite memory at its disposal, we use the ReJuvenate module to loop through a finite memory space as if it were immortal, I mean, infinite. The larger the memory space in the AiMind, the less frequently the ReJuvenate module has to kick in. If computer memory becomes really cheap and plentiful, or if the PermanentInstallation of a mission-critical AI entity warrants astronomical quantities of memory no matter what the cost, an AiMind could dispense with the ReJuvenate module and not worry about running out of memory in the far and distant future long after the first stirring and quickening of the AI Mind.

=== OutReach === http://agi-roadmap.org/Quickening is the open, collaborative page where you may contribute your own ideas and use the associated Talk page for discussion.

=== MemeSpace === AdminisTrivia AiEvolution BottomUp CodeComplete ImMortality LifeQuaScienceFiction MindGrid PermanentInstallation ReJuvenate TippingPoint UserManual

labels: milestone roadmap

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