I am trying to create an AI that makes reasonable guesses at truths of statements. However...

Human: "Prove that no number exists which is one more than a billion."

AI: "Is it true for the number 1? No. I am 1% sure the statement is correct."

AI: "Is it true for the number 2? No. I am 2% sure the statement is correct."


AI: "Is it true for the number 999,999? No. I am 99.99% sure the statement is correct."

AI: "Having tested a large number of examples. I conclude that the statement is correct."

Human: "The statement is wrong: one billion and one."

What do you think has gone wrong?

  • $\begingroup$ I believe that the whole reasoning is wrong. The fact that his certainty increases with the number is also weird: it is like the higher the number the more certain the AI is, which makes no sense. Furthermore, there's also the problem of not being able to generalise. $\endgroup$
    – nbro
    Jul 23, 2019 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ The AI didn't try to disprove it... it hadn't "understood" the misleading question to a level where it could find the fastest route to a disproof (or proof). Disproof may be a missing strategy. $\endgroup$
    – Paul Brown
    Jul 30, 2019 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


I don't think that the "try all the numbers" approach is very representative, because I'm not sure whether or not the agent that uses that approach can be considered by any means AI.

There is no "intelligence" in just checking numbers to try to prove the statement. An agent that is considered to be intelligent should apply a more intelligent approach.

This becomes more evident because the question aims at exploiting the lack of scalability of the agent's strategy. If the question was "Prove that no number exists which is one more than 5", then the agent would have no trouble in finding the correct answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, perhaps the AI (or a human child) would have "noticed" some time ago that to get a bigger number all you have to do is add one to any number. And using this knowledge could solve the problem. $\endgroup$
    – zooby
    Aug 24, 2019 at 1:11

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