Fun & Creativity: Inside vs. Outside View

Premise 1: There exists a procedure (P1) that can compute optimal creativity and an optimal experience of fun.

Justification: If artificial general intelligence and whole brain emulation is possible then this implies that it is possible to capture creativity and experiences such as fun in a purely mechanical, algorithmic fashion.

Premise 2: There exists a procedure (P2) for which it is possible to perfectly comprehend P1, in the same sense that it is possible for humans to comprehend the rules of Tic-tac-toe.

Justification: If it is possible for an artificial general intelligence or whole brain emulation to improve itself considerably then this implies that it is possible for those agents to understand themselves sufficiently.

Tic Tac Toe

Tic Tac Toe

From the subjective viewpoint of P1, being computed is fun and creative. I will label this view, in function notation, as inside_view(P1). Or, in other words, how an algorithm feels from inside.

From the subjective viewpoint of P2, being computed means to perfectly understand what P1 is doing and how it is doing it. I will call this function outside_view(P1).

Premise 3: A human being (possibly given a hypothetical intelligence amplification) could incorporate P2. I will label this function human_P2().

What value would human_P2() assign to he computation of P1? I will label the computation of P1 compute(P1).

human_P2(compute(P1)) =

(1) Uninteresting (dull). Similarly to computing all possible games of Tic-tac-toe.

(2) Intrinsically valuable. The more resources are used to compute P1, the better.

What I perceive to be problematic is #2. What differences would it make to run P1, (1) once (2) N times (3) not at all?

Personally I assign little value to the repeated computation of something that I already understand thoroughly. Which does not mean that the algorithm itself would share my perception. But why should I care about that? As long as suffering has been eradicated, what difference would it make if the whole universe was used to compute an uninteresting algorithm (outside view) compared to a universe that does nothing in particular?

There are two possibilities:

(1) I could observe the computation of P1 from the outside (possibly until the heat death of the universe).

(2) I could turn myself into P1 and experience fun and creativity.

Why would I care about either 1 or 2 if I completely understand those possibilities and don’t expect any surprises that are conceptually more interesting than coming across a Feynman point?


  1. Lukasz Stafiniak’s avatar

    Re. premise 1: Only compact functions must have optima.

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