Re: poly: Recombinant Growth

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Fri Aug 07 1998 - 15:06:48 PDT

Hal F. writes:
>> I like this paper.  It suggests that new ideas are just
>> combinations of old ideas, so the supply of new ideas is
>> unlimited, and the fundamental limit to economic growth rates
>> is the cost to examine each new idea.
> ... possibly by Hofstadter, for mechanizing creativity.  He suggested
>dividing it into two parts, one which randomly created ... ideas
>... and the other which evaluated them. ... It was not clear though
>that the random creation process would produce a high enough
>concentration of good ideas ...

The standard metaphor in traditional AI is search, and the first
thing to do in any area is to define a search space that likely
contains all the answers of interest. The second is to define a
way to recognize an answer when you see it. After that, it's all
a matter of heuristics to help one look in the right places.

The economic model I described can likely be easily extended to
ranking ideas on their potential. You just have to define
the distribution of potential that results from combining any two
ideas of given potential values.

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-2627
Received on Fri Aug 7 21:54:06 1998

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