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[P] Thinking about RL or a Genetic Algorithm for a “free will” experiment on the browser

I’ve recently read a short story by Ted Chiang where scientists invent a machine that can predict with 100% accuracy the action a person will take, even when taking account that the person knows that the machine is trying to outsmart it, thus proving that free will is an illusion.

I’m thinking about a simple browser page with 2 buttons and a text (e.g. “You will press the red button”). The user will be prompted to choose one button to press. The model would try to serve a layout (button size, position, text font, text size, colors) that would influence the choice and when the user triggers a mouse event the correct button would flash ahead of time.

Thinking about a genetic algorithm the genome would be the x,y positions of all UI elements, sizes, colors, etc.

I don’t think the ideia is THAT pretentious since there are lots of experiments proving that we subcounsciously decide lots of simple things “ahead of time” [1]. And I don’t even think this has anything to do with the “philosophical” free will.

I didn’t find anything similar on the internet using genetic algorithms. Do you guys think this could be a cool experiment?


submitted by /u/thiago_lira
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