Whole Brain Emulation Versus AGI

On the prediction site Metaculus, Robin Hanson and Matthew Barnett have a bet about whole brain emulation versus artificial general intelligence. The bet is that when US labor participation rate is less than 10% then em-like automation will contribute more to GDP than AGI-like.

Robin Hanson wrote the book the Age of EM. The “Em” are virtual human minds with no physical body or very tiny physical bodies. Futurologist Robin Hanson works George Mason University as a Professor of Finance and Cato Adjunct Scholar John H. Cochrane.

Hanson believes that scanning the brain in fine detail and then emulating the brain in hardware is the faster path to artificial human or artificial general intelligence.

I, Brian Wang, do not see a definition of AGI-like AI in the bet/prediction. I presume they mean all other paths to advance AI other than whole brain emulation or partial brain emulation or some kind of bootstrapping intelligence leverage biological copying and perhaps brain computer interfaces.

The Tesla autopilot and other solutions to full self-driving are projected to be a $9 trillion per year robotaxi industry. Rodney Brooks, creator of the Roomba vacuum robot, definitely does not think the Tesla Autopilot and FSD are anything near AGI. He argues against them being on an AGI path and I [Brian Wang] think he does not consider them AGI-like. Are we saying emulation EMS and brain interface and brain science-neuromorphic are all EMS and every AI that is not that is AGI-like?

Self-driving is AI but it is a narrow AI. They are not as narrow as chess or go playing AI. They are emulating or signicantly inspired by human vision.

Tesla autopilot and FSD is expected to be a large part of a $9 trillion robotaxi industry according to Ark Invest. But the systems will be narrowly focused on navigation and control of a vehicle. The Teslabot will broaden the use of the navigation and vision systems to control a walking system that has arms. An economically successful Teslabot could be a $20-50 trillion industry. I think they will be idiot savant type systems that will have massive economic value. If the bet is Tesla autopilot-FSD and Teslabot all fall into AGI-like then I would say AGI-like would be dominant in terms of GDP contribution even if Neuralink products displace smartphones. I do not see labor force participation dropping to below 10% to trigger the other part of this bet at least via intense automation. In the preceding article, I believe that radical life extension could be a path to less than 10% workforce participation.

It would be good to be more precise and breakout some of these possibly probable scenarios. Nextbigfuture will explore this and questions of increasing productivity.