Delusion, Survival, and Intelligent Agents
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This paper considers the consequences of endowing an intelligent agent with the ability to modify its own code. The intelligent agent is patterned closely after AIXI with these specific assumptions: 1) The agent is allowed to arbitrarily modify its own inputs if it so chooses; 2) The agent’s code is a part of the environment and may be read and written by the environment. The first of these we call the “delusion box”; the second we call “mortality”. Within this framework, we discuss and compare four very different kinds of agents, specifically: reinforcement-learning, goal-seeking, prediction-seeking, and knowledge-seeking agents. Our main results are that: 1) The reinforcement-learning agent under reasonable circumstances behaves exactly like an agent whose sole task is to survive (to preserve the integrity of its code); and 2) Only the knowledge-seeking agent behaves completely as expected.
KeywordsSelf-Modifying Agents AIXI Universal Artificial Intelligence Reinforcement Learning Prediction Real world assumptions
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