Change utility, reduce extortion post by Stuart Armstrong 394 days ago | 3 comments A putative new idea for AI control; index here. EDIT: This method is not intended to solve extortion, just to remove the likelihood of extremely terrible outcomes (and slightly reduce the vulnerability to extortion). A full solution to the extortion problem is sorely elusive. However, there are crude hacks that we can use to mitigate the downside. Suppose we figured out that a friendly AI should be maximising an unbounded utility function $$U$$. The extortion risk is that another AI could threaten a FAI with unbounded disutility if it didn’t go along with its plans. This gives the extorting AI – the EAI – a lot of leverage, and things could end up badly if the EAI ends up acting on its threat. To combat this, we first have to figure out a level $$z$$ of utility that is a lower bound on what $$U$$ could ever reach naturally and realistically. By “naturally” we mean that $$U$$ going below $$z$$ would require not just incompetence or indifference, but some AI actively and deliberately arranging the lowering of $$U$$. And “realistically” just means that we’re confident that getting $$U$$ lower than $$z$$ by chance, or having a $$U$$-minimising AI, are exceedingly low. Then what we can do is to cut off $$U$$ at the $$z$$ level, replacing $$U$$ with $$U'=\max(U,U(z))$$. See $$z$$ indicated by the red line on this graph of $$U'$$ versus $$U$$: What’s the consequence of this? First of all, it ensures that no EAI would threaten to reduce $$U$$ (the utility we really care about) below $$z$$, because that is not a threat to the FAI. This reduces the leverage of the EAI, and reduces the impact of it acting on its threat. Since levels of $$U$$ below $$z$$ are exceedingly unlikely to happen by chance, the fact the FAI has the wrong utility below $$z$$ shouldn’t affect it’s performance much. And, even in that zone, the AI is still motivated to climb $$U$$ above $$z$$. But we may still feel unhappy about the flatness of that curve, and want it to still prefer higher $$U$$ to exceedingly low values. If so, we can replace $$U$$ with $$U''$$ as follows (the blue line is at $$z-1$$): In this case, the EAI will not seek to reduce $$U$$ below $$z-1$$ (in fact, it will specifically target that value), while the FAI has the correct ordering of lower values of $$U$$. The utility is weird around $$z$$, granted, but this is a place where the FAI would not want to be and would almost certainly not reach by accident. Though this method does not eliminate the threat of extortion, it does seem to reduce its impact.

### NEW DISCUSSION POSTS

Note: I currently think that
 by Jessica Taylor on Predicting HCH using expert advice | 0 likes

Counterfactual mugging
 by Jessica Taylor on Doubts about Updatelessness | 0 likes

What do you mean by "in full
 by David Krueger on Doubts about Updatelessness | 0 likes

It seems relatively plausible
 by Paul Christiano on Maximally efficient agents will probably have an a... | 1 like

I think that in that case,
 by Alex Appel on Smoking Lesion Steelman | 1 like

Two minor comments. First,
 by Sam Eisenstat on No Constant Distribution Can be a Logical Inductor | 1 like

A: While that is a really
 by Alex Appel on Musings on Exploration | 0 likes

> The true reason to do
 by Jessica Taylor on Musings on Exploration | 0 likes

A few comments. Traps are
 by Vadim Kosoy on Musings on Exploration | 1 like

I'm not convinced exploration
 by Abram Demski on Musings on Exploration | 0 likes

Update: This isn't really an
 by Alex Appel on A Difficulty With Density-Zero Exploration | 0 likes

If you drop the
 by Alex Appel on Distributed Cooperation | 1 like

Cool! I'm happy to see this
 by Abram Demski on Distributed Cooperation | 0 likes

Caveat: The version of EDT
 by 258 on In memoryless Cartesian environments, every UDT po... | 2 likes

[Delegative Reinforcement
 by Vadim Kosoy on Stable Pointers to Value II: Environmental Goals | 1 like