Universal Paperclips


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/11/universal-paperclips.html


It’ll be the paper clips that do us in. I knew it…


Don’t waste your life waiting for this. Just open your browser console and type some JavaScript to give yourself $9999999999999 and such.



Instantly thought of Mantrid.


What about those 517.71 octillion probes drifting around? I bet we could make some paperclips out of those!


I really can’t help but be suspicious of this incremental game specifically; a huge portion of it is running prisoner’s dilemma-style simulations, seeing which selection is the most profitable. Was this whole game just a means of getting people to run these simulations, distributed across thousands (millions?) of computers?

The viral-ness of the spread of this is really interesting, but leaves me a little wary. That said, my space battles are going well, and I’m still trying to max out my von neumann probes.


In the final stages, you can convert everything to clips. That’s how you get the credits to show.


Just for those that missed the context here, this “game” is a commentary on the thought experiment what would happen if you created a AI and gave it a mission to create as many paperclips as possible. The endgame is that you convert all matter in the universe into paperclips.

It of course is massively addictive, I’m closing in on 200.000 clips as I type this.

I don’t understand however how my “Avg. Clips Sold per sec” can be consistently lower then my “Clips [created] per Second” while my “Unsold Inventory” stays more or less stable. Anybody else notice this? In a AI run operation you would not expect ~30% of paperclips to go missing right?


If it was intelligent, couldn’t it question its mission at some point?


I think that would depend on how ‘intelligent’ it was.


It probably would, creating paperclips is not the most glorious endeavor, the next question is then, what would it’s next mission become? And would it be intelligent/compassionate enough to keep us around to enjoy all of it?


Obviously it’s mission should be to build another, bigger AI to answer the question “What should my mission be?”


My first thought about who is behind this:


c.f. Deep Thought in HHGTTG.


Now this is the type of site I could see it worth putting a bitcoin miner on.


I think part of the concept is that the user is playing the part of the AI; so in a sense, I’m sure in many cases the AI does question its mission.


My thought was this guy:


this guy

die die die die die die die die die


LoL, $. They mean nothing, are just a opening game currency. Computer power, energy, and interstellar capability become the successive “costs” for upgrades. Currently I’m at 6.1 octillion paperclips and improving my interstellar capability, with no options to improve / start new projects. I’m assuming SOMETHING happens at random at some point, because the other has more stuff on his screen, and is many orders of magnitude ahead in exploration (mines at zero, so below the scale of decimals shown).


I’m assuming that’s what the “lost to value drift” stat is. And who do you think you go to war with?