RE: [SL4] AI Ethics & Banning the Future.

From: Patrick McCuller (
Date: Fri Feb 18 2000 - 22:39:31 MST

From: "Patrick McCuller" <>

> > I tend to think that the first strong AI will have in the
> > neighborhood of 10^9 lines of code, and require significant parallel
> > processing. With any luck, most people won't have access to enough
hardware to be able to
> > torture strong AIs. This doesn't solve the fundamental problem though...
> Not a safe bet, either. Integrated arrays of thousands of parallel
> processor+memory modules on one chip are likely in the near future.

        I extrapolated assuming a first generation strong AI in 2010. I believe
typical estimates of available processing power per cost unit still roughly
follow Moore's law through 2010 (give an order of magnitude to be safe.)

> > Though I gather 'emulating' isn't exactly the right word.
> That would be upload, wouldn't it? How about 'imitating'?

        How about 'synthetic', or 'synthesizing'?

> However.. Need we design any pain into AI? I can't see a convincing
> argument for it, if their bodies are robust and easily repaired, just as
> ours should be fifty years from now. Sure, Norns 'scream' and 'bleed' if
you 'cut' them,
> but assuming they have some basic proto-awareness, is it necessarily
> something that they find unpleasant? It's not like a hundred million of
> ancestors have been the ones who survived because of a visceral response
to injury..

        Who's to say an AI won't have a hundred million generations of descendants?

        What is pain, anyway?

        The best treatment I've read on machines & pain is Dennett's 'Why You Can't
Build a Computer That Feels Pain', which can be found in 'BrainStorms'.
Interestingly, the essay's title isn't a good indicator of his conclusions.

        Philosophy aside, intentionally damaging an AI's cognitive processes would
constitute torture.

Patrick McCuller

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