Archive for May 12th, 2015

May 12, 2015

Recursive Self-improvement

ultron by Alex Dempsey

Recursive [ri-kur-siv] self-improvement is the speculative ability of a strong artificial intelligence computer program to program its own software continuously. This is sometimes also referred to as ‘Seed AI’ because if an AI were created with engineering capabilities that matched those of its human creators, it would have the potential to autonomously improve the design of its constituent software and hardware. Having undergone these improvements, it would then be better able to find ways of optimizing its structure and improving its abilities further. It is speculated that over many iterations, such an AI would far surpass human cognitive abilities.

This notion of an ‘intelligence explosion’ was first described by British cryptographer I.J. Good in 1965, who speculated on the effects of superhuman machines: ‘Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.’

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