Re: [SL4] JOIN: Dale Johnstone

From: Marc Forrester (
Date: Tue Feb 08 2000 - 13:19:23 MST

From: Marc Forrester <>

> Hi, my name is Dale Johnstone, I'm a software developer from the UK.
> I've been programming for about 17 years. Worked mainly in the games
> industry, but I've always had my eye on AI.

Greets. Marc Forrester, Transhumanist, and as yet inexperienced
information technician. (Database setup, rescuing files from obscure
and inappropriate formats, straight programming where necessary.)

Here's my take, FWIW: I don't doubt that some idiots somewhere are
even now working on insane and/or low-intelligence AI for military
and other, more sinister purposes. I've no idea what will result.

An AI equivalent of grey goo is a disturbing idea, but it's not as
flat out terrifying as the nanotech and biotech dangers, they don't
have to be any more intelligent than smallpox to destroy our world.
Combined nanotech and AI in one weapon doesn't bear thinking about.

AI developed by military 'thinkers' will likely not be developed to
match human intelligence, let alone exceed it. It will probably have
irrational drives that limit its potential, and it will certainly not
be intentionally given the ability to redesign itself at will.

AI developed by Singularitarians will be entirely the opposite,
and so would not be easy to cripple for use as a military or state
slave machine. Some 'authority' may very well seize the project,
but the big advantage of open source is that they can't destroy
the original, so they'd be competing with free Singularitarians
elsewhere in the world, trying to reverse engineer a project
designed by saner, smarter people than themselves and pervert
it to the antithesis of its original design.

Chances of success?

I think there is far more danger in not acting, or acting in a
slow and secretive manner, than there is in the old forces of the
dark ages hitching a ride in our slipstream. If we act fast now,
we can change the rules from under them. They will not adapt.

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