New report: “Formalizing Two Problems of Realistic World Models”

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Formalizing two problemsToday we release a new technical report by Nate Soares, “Formalizing two problems of realistic world models.” If you’d like to discuss the paper, please do so here.


An intelligent agent embedded within the real world must reason about an environment which is larger than the agent, and learn how to achieve goals in that environment. We discuss attempts to formalize two problems: one of induction, where an agent must use sensory data to infer a universe which embeds (and computes) the agent, and one of interaction, where an agent must learn to achieve complex goals in the universe. We review related problems formalized by Solomonoff and Hutter, and explore challenges that arise when attempting to formalize analogous problems in a setting where the agent is embedded within the environment.

This is the 5th of six new major reports which describe and motivate MIRI’s current research agenda at a high level.