The Novamente design explains how each of these three cognitive algorithms can help each other out -- basically delegating subproblems to each other -- in such a way as to avoid this kind of combinatorial explosion except for very, very large and complex problems.
But to go deeper in this would require a lot of AI details. For example, MOSES helps PLN by enabling very efficient inference tree pruning. MOSES helps PLN by enabling it to carry out probabilistic modeling of evolving populations using background knowledge derived from long-term memory. Etc. All this is explained in my 350-page book on Novamente, which may or may not ever get published ;-)
MLU: If your work leads you to create the world's first artificially intelligent agent, I wouldn't blame you for keeping your recipe secret. But that raises the question of artificial agent ownership: should a brain be patented?
BG: The patent system is badly broken, such that this question isn't very interesting to me. Let's build a superhuman AGI lawyer and ask it to fix the patent system!!
MLU: The internet helps connect human minds together, allowing for vastly more efficient communication and information exchange than was possible before. Once AGI systems are built, might such networks facilitate the evolution of a distributed artificial consciousness?
BG: I think distributed intelligence may play a role in the evolution of mind on Earth in a couple of different ways:
In a paper in 2003 I introduced the notion of a MindPlex, which is a mind that has an emergent level of consciousness -- explicitly-goal-directed intelligence -- but also has components that are individually conscious; explicitly-goal-directed minds.
You could have a mindplex formed solely out of software, which could emerge for instance from a bunch of separate Novamente systems collaborating very closely together and sharing mind-material, yet retaining their own separate goal systems. Or, you could have a mindplex formed from humans and AI systems interacting with each other frequently and deeply.
What's interesting is the possibility that a higher level of awareness and intelligence emerges, which has us humans among its parts -- yet without forcing us humans into any kind of borg-like obedience or homogeneity. I think this is a very real possibility -- though I stress that it's not the most out-there and advanced possibility that a technological Singularity may bring us. In the end, an emergent global brain composed of humans is still a fairly primitive thing due to its reliance on humans.
I wrote a lot about this kind of possibility in my 2001 book, Creating Internet Intelligence.