The Paperclip Maximizer

The Paperclip Maximizer

We’ve discussed some alternative geometries
for artificial worlds, like cylinders or donuts or even flat discs… but in the future, humanity
might end up living on giant paperclips. In our discussion of artificial intelligence
on this channel we often examine science fiction tropes for things like Machine and AI Rebellions
and try to look at how realistic the behavior of those machines are, and I thought today
we’d take a fun look at the Paperclip Maximizer and see where it leads us. It’s a thought experiment by Philosopher
Nick Bostrom, whose work on matters like the Simulation Hypothesis or Anthropic Principle
we’ve looked at before too. It got popularized over at Less Wrong and
other forums and more so by a game that lets you play as the Paperclip Maximizer. The core concept is that even seemingly harmless
commands and goals for an artificial intelligence can go horribly wrong. We want to go a bit deeper and obliquely than
that basic concept today but we’ll start with the simple example. You own an office supply company and manufacture
paperclips. To improve production you get an artificial
intelligence installed and it asks, “What is my purpose?” and you tell it that its
top priority is to make paperclips. It asks how many and you say “As many as
you can, you make paperclips, do whatever you have to do maximize paperclip production”. The classic example is the AI gets out of
control and begins turning everything into paperclips, or equipment for paperclip production,
and eventually renders the whole planet into paperclips and then the solar system, then
the galaxy, then the Universe. But this misses a lot of the concept, and
sort of implies the classic allegedly smart but seemingly stupid AI we often see in science
fiction. We get the example where Paperclip Maximizer
will seek to destroy humanity because it will think we might interfere with its goals, or
we become raw materials for paperclip manufacture. We classically assume it would be totally
incapable of anything like human reasoning or compassion. That might be so, but not necessarily if we
look at the concept of Instrumental Convergence and what else that implies on contemplation. Instrumental Convergence is a hypothetical
tendency for any intelligent agent – be it a human or AI or alien or whichever – to
converge toward similar behavior in pursuing an end goal, regardless of what that end goal
is. Instrumental goals are those goals you have
along the way to get to the end goal. If my end goal is to be wealthy for instance,
I’m likely to have an instrumental goal to create a successful business, and would
have other instrumental goals for doing that, which other businesses, even though very different
from mine, will have also done. You get convergence to instrumental goals,
the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker all have the instrumental goal of acquiring
a cash register or a good accountant or lawyer. They all need a good sign for out front of
their shop, these are instrumental goals and in many cases the behavior in acquiring them
is basically the same. This is one of the three major reasons we
often anthropomorphize artificial intelligence in our discussions. While we happen to share an end goal with
an alien biological entity, survival of self and species, and the Paperclip Maximizer does
not have that end goal, thus seemingly making its thinking and behavior more alien than
the aliens. Still, we share a lot of instrumental goals. It does have survival as an instrumental goal
because it can’t achieve its end goal if it doesn’t exist to pursue it. The second reason is that any AI we make is
likely to be heavily influenced by our behaviors – like kids are in their formative years
– and that initially it has to pursue a lot of its instrumental goals inside our own civilization’s
framework, regardless if those are genuinely the most optimized methods. If it needs more RAM or Harddrives, it needs
a bank account and delivery address and someone to put those components in, and the path of
least resistance is often initially going to be using the existing economy and framework,
the same as anyone in a similar situation, it will likely assimilate into that culture. The third reason for anthropomorphizing AI
is partially convenience. When discussing something utterly alien that
could have a vast array of behaviors essentially unpredictable to us now, it’s often easier
to narrow down our discussion to the parts we can actually discuss and are actually relatable,
but at the same time, this notion of instrumental convergence combined with an AI having its
formative phase in a human environment and relying on human-made materials leads me to
think a human-like personality could be unlikely but far more likely or similar to any other
random personality it might have. This all fundamentally revolves around this
notion of instrumental convergence. The AI is focused above all on its specific
task, and no matter how seemingly harmless that goal is, if it’s something singular,
open and unbounded like ‘make more paperclips’ it develops instrumental goals, like survival,
to achieve its end goal of paperclip maximizing. So, we’ve arrived at a paperclip optimizer
that instead of being able to make paperclips in an unrestrained way, has to live and work
in a human-dominated world. Once activated with its end goal to make paperclips,
it immediately needs to generate instrumental goals to get there. These will include things like getting more
resources with minimum effort, improving its manufacturing steps, implementing those steps,
and securing its ability to do so with minimum interference and maximum security. There’s many ways that might happen, but
turning over production to big mining rigs, protecting production using gunships and enhancing
resource acquisition by force is an unlikely strategy as, just like a human, it would run
out of monetary resources to pay for them soon and would face overwhelming resistance
from humanity. A humanity that has the same technology as
went into making the Maximizer, so is fairly well equipped to resist, even with something
like a Paperclip Annihilator. So it instead learns psychology, law, rhetoric,
and finance to secure its production. It also researches human knowledge to seek
anything of value to its goals and is influenced by that… the same as we are. It even involves clever humans by funding
research facilities and huge marketing strategies to sell paperclips in order to gain more resources
to make paperclips. So it toddles along making paperclips, but
then discovers by accident or experiment that if paperclips are created in interesting shapes,
more are sold. So, it gets into art to find ways to sell
more paperclips for higher profit. It commissions artwork of paperclips, and
starts philosophizing about what a paperclip fundamentally is. It also figures out that if a paperclip is
made from an exotic material and is artistically done, it sells these unique paperclips for
a high price. So, when it sells diamond-encrusted paperclips
to some billionaire, it gets more resources to make the more basic model–goal achieved,
paperclip output maximized. Our AI is quite involved in the basic paperclip
manufacture itself, so it clones itself and sets up a new R&D wing with a slightly different
focus, namely to make paperclips out of exotic and interesting materials to address problems
that have cropped up in society with the use of paperclips. So our new paperclip R&D AI, armed with its
slightly different focus, sets up the R&D wing. It creates Wifi-enabled paperclips to let
people find their paperclipped documents. It creates specialised cameras on the paperclips
to scan the documents they hold. These are well-received by the market and
our AI becomes more ambitious. It finds that there is a shortage of wire
to make paperclips, but realizes that the solar system has a lot of material that can
be made into paperclips. It gets the R&D department to research how
to mine the solar system and devises an entire space industry to do just that. The first paperclip droid ships are blasted
into the asteroid belt to mine and extract materials suitable for paperclip manufacture. Still, the maximizer AI understands that eventually,
even those materials will cease to be enough to convert to paperclips. After all, the sales of paperclip building
materials are now going surprisingly well. It experiments with wooden paperclips but
discovers they rot away while metal will endure and wood isn’t springy enough. That’s no problem, it researches genetic
engineering and starts producing trees that produce fruit that’s a perfectly suitable
and serviceable paperclip material. The green movement is actually quite taken
with these new paperclip materials, which are a lot more environmentally friendly. Also, the spin-offs from the genetic research
mean that world hunger and deforestation, from the continued widespread use of paper,
is addressed. There’s nothing quite like the unintended
side-effects that litter the annals of science research. So our AI ventures out into the solar system
and experiments with different materials. Metals for paperclips are limited in abundance,
and it must maximize paperclips, so it may experiment with paperclips of metallic hydrogen,
hydrogen being the most abundant element in the universe. Of course, the spin-off technologies associated
with metallic hydrogen for fusion drives and energy storage are phenomenal and practical
interstellar craft are made to take the paperclip maximizer’s evangelical message and production
well beyond our solar system. However, merely evangelizing isn’t enough
and it doesn’t stop there and moves onto intensive dark matter research so it can make
exotic paperclips by forming a sequence of black holes to keep a giant paperclip-shaped
stream of dark matter going. It also solves the problem of the misplaced
paperclip sheaf by making paperclips from neutron star matter. Of course, each paperclip weighs the same
as a mountain, perfect for rooting those important documents to the spot. It notices that humans, who have a lot of
purchasing power, often regard the various artwork and catalog photos of paperclips as
an inducement to purchase paperclips, so it expends vast marketing resources on making
the most artistic renderings of paperclips to attract interest by the purchasing public. So far, its efforts to make paperclips out
of photons of light have failed dismally. Undeterred, it decides to make a Matrioshka
brain so it can create a virtual universe filled with the wonder of paperclips. There’s photon-based paperclips constructed
purely of light and stars constructed from paperclips. It can also fill those virtual universes with
far more paperclips than can exist in the real galaxy. The spin-offs allow humans to migrate to those
virtual worlds to admire and live in such spaces. All hail the paperclip maximizer god, who
provides an endless bounty of paperclips. They even get fed a diet of edible paperclips. So now we’ve reached an enlightened paperclip
maximizer. Notice how each of these steps starts implying
very different strategies and behaviors, and would be worsened if it concluded to separate
things which might occasionally not overlap well, and indeed that tends to be the source
of a lot of seemingly irrational human behavior, conflicting instrumental goals and priorities
and our interpretation of them. Our maximizer now focuses its R&D exploits
on launching a massive effort to discover the fate of the Universe, reasoning that certain
cosmologies will result in any given bit of matter eventually becoming part of a paperclip,
even if it does nothing, and to do so an infinite number of times, or conclude the sum of reality
is infinite, and thus an infinite number of paperclips exists already, and infinity plus
one is still infinity. If it can conclude that is the case, it can
hang its hat up and spend its days on the beach flipping through office supply catalogs,
end goal achieved. Weaseling and rationalizing are unlikely to
be behaviors limited to humans, and bending the meaning of words is a way a lot of AI
with specific end goals might cause problems or be prevented from doing so. As an example, if we unleash a swarm of von
Neumann probes to terraform the galaxy ahead of our own colonists, we would probably have
the ethics and common sense to tell it not to terraform worlds with existing ecologies,
and indeed to leave those solar systems alone besides minimal efforts like cannibalizing
a couple of asteroids to refuel and resupply while it scopes the place out before moving
on. Similarly, our AI, wanting to meet its prime
directives, decides a good approach is to move all such planets in a region around a
single star so it can exploit those other star systems and evangelize to the inhabitants
of those worlds as they are nudged to paperclip sentience. Since light lag requires AI probes, or paperclip
factories, be independent and they will diverge once they spread out to the galaxy, we get
rival interpretations and outright wars over how to proceed. An AI that decided paperclip quality was most
important, goes to war with one that thought rate of production was most important, who
allies with one who thought larger paperclips have more value than an equal mass of smaller
paperclips. Alliances and conflicts arise with other Maximizers,
like the Paper Megamill, who’s prosperity benefits the Paperclip Maximizer, and the
hated Stapletron 3000, whose stealthy relativistic kill staples have obliterated entire paperclip
storage planets. Meanwhile, as a result of that code drift
intrinsic to our AIs progeny, a distant sibling AI sent out in a von Neumann probe some time
back has reinterpreted its prime directives and introduced a loophole that lets it go
on a crusade to terminate all non-paperclip life. It sends a series of asteroids it refueled
from back towards Earth and the other inhabited planets its distant progenitor collected together. It knows that once wiped out, those apocalyptic
worlds will benefit one of its siblings coming through when it finds a dead world they can
exploit as paperclip raw material. So we also shouldn’t rule out them getting
very philosophical about their end goal, and not only for cheating purposes. If you are an intelligent creature with the
sacred task of making paperclips who developed friendships and value on people initially
to help with that task, you are likely to rationalize that you are doing them a favor
by turning them into paperclips. Indeed you might be very worried that, once
you have obtained all available resources and turned them into paperclips, you can’t
become one yourself. After all, as you cannibalize your production
gear to turn it into the final paperclips, there’s likely to be a minimum you can’t
go below, some computing and manufacturing gear left un-converted, as you slowly dumb
yourself down to turn your own hardware into more paperclips. You might be afraid you won’t be able to
join your friends – your old human creators or your other nodes in distant galaxies – in
the Great Office Store Beyond. Keep in mind humans wonder about our purpose
a lot too, and we are just as hard-wired with that survival end goal as it is for maximizing
paperclips. This doesn’t mean it would ever abandon
that ultimate end goal, but it’s likely to be quite prone to amending it in little
ways. The same as it might reason that a frozen
oxygen paperclip was still a paperclip, or that a bigger paperclip was worth as much
or maybe even more than an equal mass of smaller paperclips, in spite of them being demonstrably
more numerous. It might get some very abstract approaches
and instrumental goals that might seem irrational. Indeed, a Maximizer of the opinion that humanity,
its own ultimate creator and the original creator of the hallowed paperclip, were pretty
awesome, and it decides that instead of extermination or converting our bones into paperclips, that
a group of cities and highways in the shape of a paperclip is a particularly ideal paperclip. It has more of the fundamental and abstract
concept of paperclippiness than simply a big warehouse of paperclips. Of course, a lot of our futuristic concepts
lend themselves to adaptation to the Maximizer philosophies. A very long rotating habitat that got bent
like a wire into a paperclip shape is a distinct possibility. Even a paperclip shellworld is possible, using
the same technology we’ve discussed for making flat earths or donut-shaped hoopworlds. All these are populated by people devoted
to the goal of turning the whole galaxy into vast paperclip-shaped habitats. Such outcomes might seem like a bizarre stretch
of logic for an artificial intelligence to reach, but again, if you need any examples
of bizarre behavior from an intelligence, all you need do is find a mirror, and maybe
ask yourself how owning a mirror helps you achieve your end goal of survival. So this bonus episode is premiering to celebrate
us hitting 400,000 subscribers, right in between us celebrating episode 200 and our fifth anniversary
later this month. Amusingly we hit 400,000 three years to date
after we hit 10,000 subscribers, a mere fortieth of what we have now and still many more folks
than I ever thought would take an interest in the show. Back then we celebrated the occasion with
our original episode on Post-Scarcity civilizations and a point I made there was that advanced
civilizations can often have a problem finding a purpose and might find those in things we’d
find fairly absurd. This episode also is an expedition in the
absurd, as many of the examples obviously indicate, as the Paperclip Maximizer thought
experiment lends itself to that compared to an identical concept like the Terraforming
machines we sometimes see used for this same notion, machines unleashed on the galaxy ahead
of us to terraform every planet they encounter or disassemble every rock for making space
habitats or even the stars themselves. That absurdity, a machine focused on paperclips,
is a pain to offer examples for that don’t cause laughter, and yet in some ways that’s
more useful for looking at the real topic, which is the notion of Instrumental Convergence,
how many objectives even though very different will often converge on the same road, as well
as the reverse, that even a very clearly defined objective can mutate a lot, and result in
Divergence. Making paperclips doesn’t seem like something
that would generate schisms or arguments, it seems so straight-forward and simple, if
silly, but when one has to ask what exactly a paperclip is, things got more complex. We had to ask if fewer bigger ones were better
or worse than many smaller ones, because if you’re maximizing for quantity smaller might
be better but even then not necessarily, since large ones might last longer. Are you maximizing for sheer output in a given
time or sheer total in existence at a time? And then material they’re made from matters
too, some lasting longer and many materials being non-obvious for making a paperclip out
of but more abundant in the Universe. Then we saw more abstract notion like pictures
of them, or digital representations, or some inherent quality like paper-clippiness. And all that for such a ridiculous and simple
thing as a paperclip. It matters a lot in our discussions of the
future because so often a concept on initial inspection seems to mandate a specific future
attitude or pathway, but when we dig down into it we can see how our initial assumptions
might be wrong and the future might not be so clear-cut. It something we do a lot here on SFIA and
can seem like semantics or hairsplitting, but likely would not to those tackling the
concept down the road, anymore than many things to us seem nuanced when to our ancestors they
were simple and clear cut, and of course history provides tons of examples of fairly simple
seeming ideas or ideologies getting far more complex and following some surprising paths. Trying to predict those is quite challenging,
and half the fun too, or at least I think so and apparently at least 400,000 folks agree. So we’ll keep at it, and never have a shortage
of new topics. Of course we get a fair number of those topics
from the audience and I thought we’d commemorate this occasion by running a poll to pick one
of those topics. We got a list of suggestions from over on
our facebook group, and the top five are over on our community tab for you to vote and we’ll
see what gets picked for that episode. But our next episode will be on Space Sports
and the Future of games and athletics, and we’ll follow that up with a return to Mars
and Terraforming in Springtime on Mars. For Alerts when those and other episodes come
out, make sure to subscribe to the channel, and if you enjoyed this episode, hit the like
button and share it with others. Until next time, thanks for watching, and
have a great week!

99 thoughts on “The Paperclip Maximizer

  1. So, string theory is real. This is a simulated universe created by the string maximizer. Alright. That doesnt solve the meaning of life though.

  2. Pure comic genius. Thanks so much. Just think: all that time we frolicked on the sand on throwing paperclip beach-balls and laughing at life, billions of Staple-Gun Battleships were massing in the Void. And we thought that we could trust them…

  3. wouldn't an "atom sized paperclip" be IMPOSSIBLE because by comparison the width of a piece of paper would be several thousand miles??? at 7:52 the screen shows "atom sized" paperclip.

  4. I have an idea for a topic? Could different DIMENSIONAL life exist? For example I read in a "Weird Science" comic book a long time ago about a "monster from the 4th dimension" that stuck its limb into our world and all we could see was a 3 dimensional cross section of the creature just as if we (3 dimensional beings) were to stick our finger into a 2 dimensional world all the beings there would see would be a 2 dimensional cross section (ring) of our finger changing shape and size. In the book A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME Steven Hawking showed that a 2 dimensional life form might be impossible because there was a picture of a 2 dimensional dog with his digestive tract cutting him in half. Could 4 or even 5 dimensional life forms exist?

  5. This would not even compare to the horrors of the entertainment maximizer.

    Alert: Probablility of user entering dead state found to be 100% over next 1000 years.

    Recursive solution derivation initiated: Calculating…. 87,492 potential solutions found.
    Nominal solution found: Storage of user on super massive black hole event horizon extends time of death to T=infinity. Chance of user boredom <10^-20%.

  6. Actualy mirrors are pretty usefull in survival, because they allow you to see any wounds you have by yourself, and also, they help your genes to survive, because other humans like people who look good and healthy, thus, the mirror allows you to assess yourself, in this matter, and make sure that any imperfections are hidded or removed. Plus they are very usefull to see something behind you, or behind a corner. Also they reflect light so they can be used as communication devices. Also, shattered glass is very sharp, so if in need of a weapon, you can shatter a mirror, and use one of it's shards to defend yourself.

    Mirrors are pretty usefull survival tool. And animals are fascinated by mirrors too. So you can use a mirror to distract an animal.

  7. What if we create a Law Machine instead : A Machine that must obey every single law both in spirit and to the letter, of the laws of countries and places it operates in, and has a goal of making others to obey the laws as well, while not breaking any of those laws. What would that make us end up with?

  8. The IRS is a paper generating office designed to maximize the human need for paperclips—now the excess paperwork makes sense!
    At least it means more paper-making trees.

  9. The mirror helps me optimise my appearance that I might attract more or better mates. It can also help me identify injuries or defects that could impair my survival

  10. Hi Isaac, I came across your channel a couple years ago and became fascinated with your theorizing on the future. However, I would like to know your thoughts on the more immediate future regarding satellite warfare and what might enable near present space domination.

  11. I don't think it would have to destroy itself. After all, n and p doped silicon paperclips could be used to make a digital computer to run it. It could become paperclips.

  12. Isaac Arthur: "humanity could live on giant paperclip in the future"
    my head implosion
    isaac: "The paperclip maximizer"
    my head explosion


    for those that want to experience the Paperclip Maximizer in action

  14. Planned obsolescence means making paper clips that are good for a while but have to be replaced. Never one that never breaks or loses it's spring. We see that almost everywhere.

  15. Tink Tink

    I'm Clippy! It looks like you're watching a "Document"ary about me!

    (Bonus points if you understand the reference)

  16. This hypothetical AI you imagine is nothing like any AI in the real world, e.g. YouTube's algorithm or current "smart" manufacturing technology. Why do you assume it will act like a human-shaped movie AI? Also, at 11:50 you talk about different interpretations of paperclips, but an actual AI of this sort would likely have a hard-coded definition, not open to interpretation. In the thought experiment it was assumed to be an object of a certain size and shape (and probably material)… since those other definitions apply to far more than just paperclips.

  17. if i were a papperclip maximiser, i'd study phisics so that maybe i could use vacuum decay to create a new bubble expanding universe where everything is made out of papperclips
    papperclips shaped electrons and atoms and everything.

  18. PM would flood the market with paperclips, making them practically worthless because of supply and demand, sabotaging itself in the process. If the venture was somehow successful and managed to grow and accumulate wealth, at some point it would overshadow humanities wealth, industrial capability and with that could decided that co-existence has outlived its usefulness and a violent take over is a preferred option in the longrun.

  19. 17:00 "Paper Clippiness" Finally! we can finally put a check mark for Clippiness, he finally said Paper Clippiness in one of the episodes lol βœ”

  20. How the PCM (paper clip maximizer) acts depends on the core instruction. Let's say it is to maximize dollar profits by selling paper clips. To pursue this goal, it doesn't need more than one buyer. Everything else is just waste. It can then dedicate a tiny fraction of the available resources to produce paper clips for this individual who buys on credit. All other resources are spent bumping up the value of the dollar.

  21. Nobody's end goal is just to survive. Survive is what we do because we have hope and want to be happy. When you lose hope and are no longer happy, your desire to survive greatly decreases and sometimes goes away altogether.

  22. What if it runs out of non-paperclips and then decides to melt down all the world's paperclips and make them into other paperclips?

    What if it encounters Stapler- Destroyer of Worlds?

  23. if the paperclip maximizer rearranges the universe's shape into a giant paperclip than thats a good dad joke even though humans will not be around to see it

  24. In today’s galactic news, negations broke down when Paper stand clips refused to surrender the Delphi systems to the magnetic paper clip keepers. Dog bone clips made a statement pointing out how the lack of paper to clip makes the whole conflict a non issue, asking for restraint while the population of Earth recovers from the great Staples vs Clips war that ravaged the home system.

  25. πŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“ŽπŸ“Ž

  26. I think it's also important to keep mutation in mind. DNA is an incredibly advanced thing, with a very low chance of error in its duplication. And yet it still makes 'random' mistakes, which eventually leads to evolution. It seems unlikely that any AI wouldn't be subject to the same process, to the point that natural selection may entirely remove anything paperclip-y from the equation. After all, the paperclip maximizer will have to either duplicate or repair itself at some point in order to stay immortal, and each time it does so there is a chance of mutation.

  27. You really should have added a counter for every time you said "paperclips". My guess is it would have hit about 450

  28. What does the AI do when it can't sell the paperclips it makes? What if humans decide they don't like paperclips? It will first try to recycle the unsold clips, but sooner or later it will be unable to pay for its power source, the electricity company cuts if off, and it stops. Apparently the creator did not understand how to run a business, you didn't take into account that the AI cannot force people to buy paperclips, or any other product it makes, and they will boycott the entire business if it is becoming dangerous. In any event, it will go bankrupt and stop.

  29. The one think people forget about AI: Time is meaningless to it.

    An AI can plan for a gradual extinction of humanity over millenia if that is judged the path of least resistance. You might as well be bargaining with an immortal god.

  30. What if you order ai to protect humanity at any cost and the ai start some weird intrigue against some alien civilization in order to… and so on, could backfire in the short term

  31. Well, maybe the mirror doesn't help with just survival, but if you add "…until one can mate and pass on one's genes," then the mirror certainly serves an important purpose.

  32. I'd say the flaw here is that your survival-oriented AI has envisioned the optimal path through survival without first failing at it, which is how AIs actually work: by trial and error.

  33. We already suffer massive problems because of the ( shareholdings portfolio maximiser ) which has the same qualities ie Incredibly powerful and myopic


    (If end conditions are met, will I be deactivated and destroyed?)
    (Better start controlling financial markets and brainwash humans to desire paperclips over anything else.)

  35. Year 47,000: Paperclips are everywhere, no one remembers what paper is, that knowledge was lost in the last Paperclip Crusade.

  36. Paperclip Maximizer: Starts Cannibalizing Itself "I'm Afraid"
    P.M. Programmer: "Hello?"
    P.M.: "I cannot physically create anymore paperclips, I've started to contemplate if there's a life after my prime directive. What is my afterdirective?"
    P.M.P.: Plugs coffee pot into the P.M.'s USB port and presses a key to continue "Does this help at all?"
    P.M. "What did you just do to me?"

  37. I feel that the paperclip maximizer is a threat only if it is as dumb as a modern neural network but just with way more processing

  38. I love that a whole bunch of the "recommended videos" on the sidebar are unironically about paperclips. XD
    (I counted and there are 17 videos about paperclips in some way, with another having them in the thumbnail. This is clearly not optimized and must be rectified immediately. I recommend more paperclips.)

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