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The Newcomb Machine

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This is a short challenge based on Newcomb's problem. Try it!

Published in: Business
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The Newcomb Machine

  1. 1. Welcome to Newcomb’s vending machine. You are visitor number: 10 001, Use your arrow keys to advance > Full-screen viewing recommended
  2. 2. This machine will predict your choice. Correct: 9,900* Incorrect: 100* The machine’s track-record so far: This is an educational exercise. Assume the machine somehow knows enough about each person to make a prediction that is 99% accurate. *
  3. 3. Predicting …
  4. 4. The machine has made its prediction. Here are two opaque boxes: You may choose … Option 1: Receive the contents of box A only, without opening box B. Option 2: Receive the contents of both boxes. A B
  5. 5. If the machine predicted you would choose … Option 1: There is $1 million in box A and $1 million in box B. Option 2: Both boxes are empty. A B A B
  6. 6. Let’s review … If the machine predicted you would choose A only, there is already $1 million waiting in each box. If the machine predicted you would choose both boxes, both boxes are empty. Track record so far: 9,900 to 100. Choose now: Option 1 Receive the contents of box A only. Option 2 Receive the contents of both boxes. Proceed to your analysis ->
  7. 7. Results If you chose … Option 1: You are an evidence-based decision maker (at least in this case). Option 2: You are a causal decision maker. To learn more, go to www.lesswrong.com This version of Newcomb’s problem was created by David Siegel www.businessagilityworkshop.com

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