by phil on Sunday Apr 27, 2003 12:29 AM
Can you write a program that changes its programming? Could you have a program with a chunk of code that includes the function "changeSelf()." Upon executing changeSelf() can it change its code for changeSelf() and then re-compile? I'm sure it can, but what happens after a while? Aren't there limits to this? Isn't this the same problem with suicide? How can you argue against (or for) suicide when you won't be there to appreciate the effects of your decision? Same thing with heroin. You can argue all you want against heroin, but if you take it, your thinking will change dramatically so that you'll think that heroin IS the best path in life.
Systems that gain the intelligence to change themselves? Is there an upper-bound to this? If this is so, are there upper bounds to Kurzweil's Law of Accelerating Order? Godel Escher Bach, so I'm told, addresses this, but I never took that book too seriously. GEB was more of a fun jiggy into some potentially neat implications of Godel's theorem and infinite recursion. Fun Jiggies count for something though, and have their place.