RE: Diaspora, the future of AI & value systems, etc.

From: Patrick McCuller (
Date: Mon Dec 11 2000 - 19:04:19 MST

> In one sense, I agree with you, if you mean "human as opposed to some
> other evolved alien species", since the basic cognitive architecture might
> well turn out to be the same. Or we could see the Pnume, but I wouldn't
> really be surprised to find basically human social practices and so on,
> the fundamental set of human emotion and reflexes, in a species that
> evolved on another planet. Most of our emotional detail is not obviously
> dependent on conditions of the Earth physical environment, but the social
> environment, which floats abstractly above the color of the sky and the
> force of gravity. But the Soft Ones certainly aren't AIs or even
> Diasporans.

        Asimov didn't like doing aliens; he thought there were always too human,
because he's human.

> Did you ever read "Bartlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials"?

        I have it right here; what's important about it?

> > Anyway, it's a really good book, I recommended it to a bunch of friends!
> > But I'm looking forward
> > to another book that explores posthuman psychology with more subtlety...
> Let me know if ever you find one.

        The basic problem here is that psychology is a dying field. It is being
replaced by cognitive science. Ultimately, by a physical understanding of the
nature of the human brain and its functions and dysfunctions.

        'Posthuman psychology', then, becomes posthuman cognitive science. Hard to
speculate about... probably easier to build it than to predict it (accurately,
of course. But accurate prediction would require working full cognitive
models; half the work of AI!)


> -- -- -- -- --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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