hey there Ken,
how are you today?
hope you're all right! (sorry-not-sorry for the link)
and able to eventually read through all this.
(here's a suggested background song, if you will)
a progammer informarticist born in '81 who loves boomerangs and is a college drop out struggling a lot to live by, for over 1 year in portugal now, while trying to learn more about top notch Ai research. coincidentally since I moved here I've been wanting to help developing a Benevolent Artificial Super Intelligence User eXperience. ish. on my very small free time.
I probably still got a long way before better understanding it and being able to tweak it at my will or create something out of it. but then again, some people thought (and I kinda believed them) I couldn't do mariox in even 1 year and it took me mostly surprising less than 1 week (because it was "just" about porting it, thanks to Seth). a very inspired and dedicated one (it eventually led me to many life issues, reason why only now, 1 year later, I'm continuing with this project - but those are points to another topic).
and I find it particularly intriguing how nobody could come up with a generic Ai algorithm capable of giving birth to super Ai. and, in all my ignorance, I find NEAT to come the closest to it. funny enough, I luckily found on reddit (which you should have linked on your NEAT main page) that you believe we're very far away from that.
got you a few questions (I actually had other questions in mind before I thought of adding a song background, trying to google for your taste and stumbling upon that reddit, in which you already answered them):
why exactly do you think we're so far from the singularity? looks like most people deeply researching and working with the top notch algorithms always think that. from my point of view, of someone who worked mostly solo with programming for the past 20 years, I can easily see many ways it could already have happened any time since around the beginning of this century.
I believe one of the key overlooked aspects of Ai development is randomness and the lack of using better generators for feeding it creativity. now that's a very far stretched gut feeling, and reason why I ask you, since NEAT relies so much on random data: have you, or do you know of any Ai research actually using true random numbers in large scale and maybe even comparing results with pseudo random?
could you kindly point me to more people to who I could connect and talk about those topics?
PS for ken: bugs report -> http://www.aigameresearch.org/portfolio-item/infinite-tower-defense/ is basically broken and so is petalz. :(
PS for readers: I can't recommend enough his reddit talk if you want to know more about NEAT and his radio talk about his book if you think tracing objectives is something really important.