Recursive self-improvement

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Recursive self improvement is the speculative ability of strong artificial intelligence computer program to program its own software, recursively.

This is sometimes also referred to as Seed AI because if an AI was created such that its engineering capabilities matched or surpassed 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.Yudkowsky (2013) The successful implementation of seed AI would result in a technological singularity.

History[edit]

This notion of an "intelligence explosion" was first described thus by Good (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.

Compilers[edit]

A limited example is that program language compilers are often used to compile themselves. As compilers become more optimized, they can re-compile themselves and so be faster at compiling.

However, they cannot then produce faster code and so this can only provide a very limited one step self-improvement. Existing optimizers can transform code into a functionally equivalent, more efficient form, but cannot identify the intent of an algorithm and rewrite it for more effective results. The optimized version of a given compiler may compile faster, but it cannot compile better. That is, an optimized version of a compiler will never spot new optimization tricks that earlier versions failed to see or innovate new ways of improving its own program[citation needed].

Seed AI must be able to understand the purpose behind the various elements of its design, and design entirely new modules that will make it genuinely more intelligent and more effective in fulfilling its purpose[citation needed].

Organizations[edit]

Creating seed AI is the goal of several organizations. The Machine Intelligence Research Institute is the most prominent of those explicitly working to create seed AI[citation needed]. Others include the Artificial General Intelligence Research Institute, creator of the Novamente AI engine, Adaptive Artificial Intelligence Incorporated, Texai.org, and Consolidated Robotics.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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