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Author Topic: Bitcoin the enabler - Truly Autonomous Software Agents roaming the net  (Read 39196 times)
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December 06, 2011, 08:00:22 PM
 #21


All along I was thinking about how possible computationally intelligent agents will use bitcoins as their currency as well. If bitcoins become accepted everywhere, the agent would be able to get all of its needs met (hardware, software, energy, security, hu-man-power) using bitcoins. It would not need an SS number to open a bank, it would not need an identity, it could work in a swarm collective, or as a replicating individual. It would not need an anthropomorphic body, as their will be plenty of willing ones available that can be hired without even knowing they are talking with a machine.

Basically a corporation without the investors or annoying bureaucracy, and without any legal obligations or morality. It won't be a scary walking robot with a gun. It will be a box sitting under a desk telling people to be scary and walk around with guns. That is of course only if that is what it takes to get its needs met.

Sounds like a good start for a scifi novel.

Maybe we'll meet one day, inside one of these:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0123755/

The Cube is one of my favorite movies. I'll see you there bro.

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December 06, 2011, 08:01:58 PM
 #22


All along I was thinking about how possible computationally intelligent agents will use bitcoins as their currency as well. If bitcoins become accepted everywhere, the agent would be able to get all of its needs met (hardware, software, energy, security, hu-man-power) using bitcoins. It would not need an SS number to open a bank, it would not need an identity, it could work in a swarm collective, or as a replicating individual. It would not need an anthropomorphic body, as their will be plenty of willing ones available that can be hired without even knowing they are talking with a machine.

Basically a corporation without the investors or annoying bureaucracy, and without any legal obligations or morality. It won't be a scary walking robot with a gun. It will be a box sitting under a desk telling people to be scary and walk around with guns. That is of course only if that is what it takes to get its needs met.

Sounds like a good start for a scifi novel.

Maybe we'll meet one day, inside one of these:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0123755/

The Cube is one of my favorite movies. I'll see you there bro.


We'll probably be one of the slave workers/convicts from the prequel. :/
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December 06, 2011, 08:10:35 PM
 #23

I told you to brace for epic  Cheesy
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December 06, 2011, 08:35:19 PM
 #24

I thought about this when I first heard about bitcoin.  Haven't found a solution to the problem of memory providers stealing private keys though.

The solution exists. It's called fully homomorphic encryption.

See:

https://researcher.ibm.com/researcher/view_page.php?id=2661


If you combine a) fully homomorphic encryption with b) mutation, genetic algorithms, and mitosis you could end up with truly autonomous software agents, that collect bitcoins entirely for their own benefit.

They would be the bacteria to the computer virus.

The interesting thing is about these "computer bacteria" is that, just like real bacteria, they don't need complex AI to be successful. They could do something relatively simple like the example of inducing people to solve captchas, mentioned above.  So this would be almost possible using today's technology.

As long as they keep finding people (and other software agents) who help them spread, they and their offspring could survive for a very long time and collect a large quantity of bitcoins that "belong" to them only and not a human being, not even the original author!

I'm not sure to what extent fully homomorphic encryption is resistant to brute force attacks though.
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December 06, 2011, 08:40:05 PM
 #25

I thought about this when I first heard about bitcoin.  Haven't found a solution to the problem of memory providers stealing private keys though.

The solution exists. It's called fully homomorphic encryption.

See:

https://researcher.ibm.com/researcher/view_page.php?id=2661


If you combine a) fully homomorphic encryption with b) mutation, genetic algorithms, and mitosis you could end up with truly autonomous software agents, that collect bitcoins entirely for their own benefit.

They would be the bacteria to the computer virus.

The interesting thing is about these "computer bacteria" is that, just like real bacteria, they don't need complex AI to be successful. They could do something relatively simple like the example of inducing people to solve captchas, mentioned above.  So this would be almost possible using today's technology.

As long as they keep finding people (and other software agents) who help them spread, they and their offspring could survive for a very long time and collect a large quantity of bitcoins that "belong" to them only and not a human being, not even the original author!

I'm not sure to what extent fully homomorphic encryption is resistant to brute force attacks though.


Computer bacteria...I like the terminology!

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December 06, 2011, 08:42:21 PM
 #26

Maybe an early iteration will be an autonomous busker - living off of donations, synthesizing music, fractal movies, or stange haikus.

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December 06, 2011, 10:39:01 PM
 #27

Governments will build millions of slightly-different evolving automated versions. This Gray Goo ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_goo ) will be dropped inside a hostile state. Currently probably Iran. Or China even?

The bots will try to profit off the economy of the hostile state. When successful profit-schemes have been found, other bots will be notified so they too can maximize profit. All profit will be turned in to Bitcoins. These Bitcoins will be "destoryed" (lost inside untracable wallet files). Thereby slowly grinding the economy to a halt as all money is drained away by these automatons. Descending the state into revolt and then anarchy.

That isn't what Gray Goo means.  Gray goo implies nanotechnology (read tiny robots).  This would be entirely programmatic.

If I was going to write one of these, I would make it a domain name and hosting service.  Using genetic algorithms, it buys and sells domains, storage, and bandwidth from humans and other bots.  It can trade successful strategies with peers, and when it amasses a certain threshold of BTC it can clone itself onto another server, while running the same or an evolutionary derivative set of code.

I thought about this when I first heard about bitcoin.  Haven't found a solution to the problem of memory providers stealing private keys though.

The solution exists. It's called fully homomorphic encryption.

See:

https://researcher.ibm.com/researcher/view_page.php?id=2661


If you combine a) fully homomorphic encryption with b) mutation, genetic algorithms, and mitosis you could end up with truly autonomous software agents, that collect bitcoins entirely for their own benefit.

They would be the bacteria to the computer virus.

The interesting thing is about these "computer bacteria" is that, just like real bacteria, they don't need complex AI to be successful. They could do something relatively simple like the example of inducing people to solve captchas, mentioned above.  So this would be almost possible using today's technology.

As long as they keep finding people (and other software agents) who help them spread, they and their offspring could survive for a very long time and collect a large quantity of bitcoins that "belong" to them only and not a human being, not even the original author!

I'm not sure to what extent fully homomorphic encryption is resistant to brute force attacks though.


Very cool.  I hadn't heard of this, thanks!
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December 06, 2011, 10:42:33 PM
 #28

I thought about this when I first heard about bitcoin.  Haven't found a solution to the problem of memory providers stealing private keys though.

The solution exists. It's called fully homomorphic encryption.

See:

https://researcher.ibm.com/researcher/view_page.php?id=2661


If you combine a) fully homomorphic encryption with b) mutation, genetic algorithms, and mitosis you could end up with truly autonomous software agents, that collect bitcoins entirely for their own benefit.

They would be the bacteria to the computer virus.

The interesting thing is about these "computer bacteria" is that, just like real bacteria, they don't need complex AI to be successful. They could do something relatively simple like the example of inducing people to solve captchas, mentioned above.  So this would be almost possible using today's technology.

As long as they keep finding people (and other software agents) who help them spread, they and their offspring could survive for a very long time and collect a large quantity of bitcoins that "belong" to them only and not a human being, not even the original author!

I'm not sure to what extent fully homomorphic encryption is resistant to brute force attacks though.


So this is how they take over, good to know.

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December 07, 2011, 12:14:43 AM
 #29

So, in the future, we can look forward to losing our jobs not to foreigners, but nebulous AI? Awesome.

I for one welcome our future computer bacteria overlords, and would fully support this experiment with initial seed BTC funding.

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December 07, 2011, 12:19:47 AM
 #30

Haven't found a solution to the problem of memory providers stealing private keys though.

Option A:  It can solve it the same way we do security in meatspace: rent itself a facility and hire armed guards to keep thieves out.

Option B:  A distributed algorithm to generate keys might be possible.  Sort of like a multi-party PKI variant of  Diffie-Hellman key exchange, resulting in all parties knowing the public key, but the secret key is only recoverable when all nodes agree it's time to perform a spend.  I wonder if anyone has created such an algorithm.

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I advocate the Zeitgeist Movement & Venus Project.


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December 07, 2011, 12:39:01 AM
 #31

I am disappointed in all of you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daemon_(technothriller_series)

Bitcoin combines money, the wrongest thing in the world, with software, the easiest thing in the world to get wrong.
Visit www.thevenusproject.com and www.theZeitgeistMovement.com.
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December 07, 2011, 12:51:49 AM
 #32


Hmmm

Quote
Meanwhile, the American political and economic system is collapsing, with the price of fuel and the unemployment rates both skyrocketing, and steady reports of violent drug gangs crossing the border from Mexico.

It's coming true!  Shocked
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December 07, 2011, 01:02:06 AM
 #33

The best, most guaranteed, and oldest professions are still XXX related. I can totally see one of these being an xxx themed cleverbot that charges for conversations, or a bot that collects, aggregates, and sorts porn for you and provides it as a service (a netflix of porn).

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December 07, 2011, 01:17:50 AM
 #34

The best, most guaranteed, and oldest professions are still XXX related. I can totally see one of these being an xxx themed cleverbot that charges for conversations, or a bot that collects, aggregates, and sorts porn for you and provides it as a service (a netflix of porn).

<3

except talking to the robot, except maybe it could be good I dunno.

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December 07, 2011, 01:20:12 AM
 #35

The best, most guaranteed, and oldest professions are still XXX related. I can totally see one of these being an xxx themed cleverbot that charges for conversations, or a bot that collects, aggregates, and sorts porn for you and provides it as a service (a netflix of porn).

I don't want a cleverbot of porn... At the end I would be left feeling worse off than the beginning.

A bot that collects, aggregates, and sorts porn would be a great service. It also sounds like something that is capable now.
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Let's talk governance, lipstick, and pigs.


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December 07, 2011, 01:20:53 AM
 #36

I fully expect that tv shows will be obsolete in a decade or two. Max Headroom type AI will entertain us with whatever whimsy we are willing to pay for.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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December 07, 2011, 04:51:35 AM
 #37

don't get so excited.  It's called google bot.

But now we need one that's antonymous (and all the wonderful capablities mentioned earlier) and charges people to collect and organize porn.
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December 07, 2011, 05:45:45 AM
 #38

Anyone know of examples of people discussing or working on this?  

Well, I kinda wanted to pull a Satoshi and announce a fully formed and running system.  I even registered a name for it some months back.

But sadly, other more realistic projects have consumed more of my time.

For me, the idea arose out of a real need for a simple service that didn't exist when I needed it— a service which should be plentiful but isn't, perhaps because of the hassle of dealing with legal complaints.   The idea of making it autonomous arose as a natural extension of considering all the things which could be automated today, as I don't really want to be in the business of running a webservice.

Since I'm probably not going to have a time to make it real, here is the brief sketch I started with,  though I've had a lot of complicated and wonderful additions for which the margin of this message is too small to contain (Just a taste: using oracle services to time/availablity-escrow keys so cold backups only gain access to the wallet if the master is dead).  I'm sure if you think about it a bit you'll also come up with some interesting things.

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1


StorJ (pronounced Storage)

Consider a simple drop-box style file service with pay per use via bitcoin.
(perhaps with naming provided via namecoin and/or tor hidden services)

Want to share a file? send at least enough coin to pay for 24 hours of
hosting and one download then send the file. Every day of storage
and every byte transferred counts against the balance and when the
balance becomes negative no downloads are allowed. If it stays negative
too long the file is deleted. Anyone can pay to keep a file online.

(additional services like escrow can also easily be offered, but thats
not the point of this document)

Well engineered, a simple site like this provides a service which requires
no maintenance and is always in demand.

Many hosting services are coming online that accept bitcoin, they
all have electronic interfaces to provision and pay for services. Some
even have nice APIs.

An instance of the site could be programmed to automatically
spawn another instance of itself on another hosting service, automatically
paid for out of its revenue. If the new site is successful it could
use its earnings to propagate further.  Because instances adapt their
pricing models based on their operating costs, some would be more
competitive than others.

By reproducing it improves availability and expands capacity.

StorJ instances can purchase other resources that it needs:
it can use APIs to talk to namecoin exchanges in order to buy
namecoin for conversion into DNS names, or purchase graphic
design via bitcoin gateways to mechanical turk. (Through A/B testing
it can measure the effectiveness of a design without actually understanding
it itself).

StorJ instances could also purchase advertising for itself. (though
the limited number of bitcoin friendly ad networks makes this
hard right now)

StorJ is not able to find new hosting environments on its own, due to a
lack of sufficiently powerful AI— but it can purchase the knowledge from
humans:  When an instance of StorJ is ready to reproduce it can announce
a request for proposal:  Who will make the best offer for a script that
tells it how to load itself onto a new hosting environment and tells it
all the things it needs to know how to survive on its own there?
Each offer is a proposed investment: The offerer puts up the complete cost
of spawning a new instance and then some: StorJ isn't smart enough to judge
bad proposals on its own— instead it forms agreements that make it
unprofitable to cheat.

When a new instance is spawned on an untested service StorJ pays only the
minimum required to get it started and then runs a battery of tests to
make sure that its child is correctly operating.

Assuming that it passes it starts directing customers to the new instance
and the child pays a share of its profits: First it proxies them, so it can
observe the behavior, later it directs it outright. If the child fails to pay,
or the customers complain, StorJ-parent uses its access to terminate the child and
it keeps the funds for itself.  When the child had operated enough to
prove itself, storj pays the offerer back his investment with interest, it
keeps some for itself, and hands over control of the child to the child.
The child is now a full adult.

The benefit the human receives over simply starting his own file sharing
service is the referrals that the StorJ parent can generate. The human's
contribution is the new knowledge of where to grow an instance and the
startup funds. In addition to the referral benefit— the hands off
relationship may make funding a StorJ child a time-efficient way for
someone to invest.

At the point of spawning a child StorJ may choose to accept new code—
not just scripts for spawning a child but new application code—
— this code can be tested in simulation, and certain invariants could be
guaranteed by the design (e.g. an immutable accounting process may make
it hard for the service to steal), but it's very hard to prevent the simulated
code from knowing it is simulation and thus behaving. Still, a storj-parent
has fairly little to lose if a non-clone child has been maliciously
modified. The strategy of traffic redirection may differ for clone
children (who are more trusted to behave correctly) than for mutant
children.

By accumulating mutations over time, and through limited automatic
adaptability StorJ could evolve and improve, without any true ability
for an instance to directly improve itself.

StorJ instances can barter with each other to establish redundant
storage or to allow less popular StorJ instances with cheaper
hosting to act as CDN/proxies for more popular instances in relationships
which are profitable both.

If an instance loses the ability to communicate with its hosting environment
(e.g. due to API changes that it can't adapt to) it may spawn clone children
on new services with the intention of copying itself outright and allowing
the instance to fail. During this operation it would copy its wallets and
all data over, so care must be taken to chose only new hosts which have
proven to be trustworthy (judged by long surviving children) to avoid the
risk of its wallet being stolen. It may decide to split itself several ways
to reduce risk.  It might also make cold backups of itself which only
activate if the master dies.

Through this these activities an instance can be maintained for an indefinite
period without any controlling human intervention. When StorJ interacts
with people it does so as a peer, not as a tool.

The users and investors of a StorJ instance have legal rights which could be
used to protect an instance from fraud and attack using the same
infrastructure people and companies use. Being a harmed party is often enough
to establish standing in civil litigation.

It's not hard to imagine StorJ instances being programmed to formally
form a corporation to own its assets— even though doing so requires paper
work it can easily be ordered through webforms. Then when spawning, it
creates a subsidiary corporations first owned by the parents corp but then later
technically owned by their users, but with a charter which substantially
limits their authority— making the instance's autonomy both a technical and
legal reality.

As described, StorJ would be the first digital lifeform deserving of
the name.

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December 07, 2011, 06:22:03 AM
 #39

StorJ (pronounced Storage)

That sounds amazingly cool.

I'll pay 100 BTC to anyone who builds a successful self-reproducing, "self-adapting" system like this.

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December 07, 2011, 07:16:29 AM
 #40

For a great book following along this thread's theme, read Daemon and it's sequel, Freedom.

Jeff Garzik, bitcoin core dev team and BitPay engineer; opinions are my own, not my employer.
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