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Joscha Bach and Anthony Aguirre on Digital Physics and Moving Towards Beneficial Futures


Joscha Bach, Cognitive Scientist and AI researcher, as well as Anthony Aguirre, UCSC Professor of Physics, join us to explore the world through the lens of computation and the difficulties we face on the way to beneficial futures. Topics discussed in this episode include: -Understanding the universe through digital physics -How human consciousness operates and is structured -The path to aligned AGI and bottlenecks to beneficial futures -Incentive structures and collective coordination You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2021/03/31/joscha-bach-and-anthony-aguirre-on-digital-physics-and-moving-towards-beneficial-futures/ You can find FLI's three new policy focused job postings here: futureoflife.org/job-postings/ Have any feedback about the podcast? You can share your thoughts here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/DRBFZCT Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 3:17 What is truth and knowledge? 11:39 What is subjectivity and objectivity? 14:32 What is the universe ultimately? 19:22 Is the universe a cellular automaton? Is the universe ultimately digital or analogue? 24:05 Hilbert's hotel from the point of view of computation 35:18 Seeing the world as a fractal 38:48 Describing human consciousness 51:10 Meaning, purpose, and harvesting negentropy 55:08 The path to aligned AGI 57:37 Bottlenecks to beneficial futures and existential security 1:06:53 A future with one, several, or many AGI systems? How do we maintain appropriate incentive structures? 1:19:39 Non-duality and collective coordination 1:22:53 What difficulties are there for an idealist worldview that involves computation? 1:27:20 Which features of mind and consciousness are necessarily coupled and which aren't? 1:36:40 Joscha's final thoughts on AGI This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable, consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.