RE: Revising a Friendly AI

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Dec 12 2000 - 23:07:40 MST

> > Sometimes.... Surely, I know some very intelligent people
> whose supergoals
> > are the same as those of much less intelligent people (Beer,
> T&A, ... ;)
> Well, I wanted to avoid bringing this up, since it does sometimes creep
> people out, but I don't drink, do drugs, smoke, fight, have sex, overeat,
> or gamble.

Hmmm. I can sort of sympathize with everything except the sex part. I
don't drink or
take drugs much, although I do enjoy both on occasion. Fighting and
aren't really all that much fun, nor is gambling, though I did a very little
bit of it when
I lived in Vegas, because it was there.

I don't think I'm going to quiz you about your sex life or lack thereof in
this forum,
but it is surely a puzzler....

Did you know that in Taoist Yoga, it is taught that if you hold in your
sperm for your
whole life, you can achieve immortality. The sperm germinates inside of you
until it forms
some kind of cosmic fetus which gives rise to another you, emanating out of
your head....

I don't believe it, actually. But if it is true, I'll never find out, but
maybe you will!
I'll have to count on immortality through more modern technology instead ;>

> Another way of looking at it is that all actual decisions, as in the ones
> that eventually get sent to motor control, are made by verbal thoughts.

This is just not true... but I don't think it's crucial to your point...

> >From this perspective, the ability to do a verbal override is not
> necessarily an evolutionary advantage. It is an inevitable consequence of
> our underlying cognitive architecture. Our cognitive architecture is a
> huge evolutionary advantage compared to nonconsciousness; thus, remaining
> Neanderthal is not an option. But, from the genes' perspectives, the
> first conscious architecture that happened to arise, while crushing the
> Neanderthals, has its own problems. Such as allowing verbal overrides -
> and therefore, memetic overrides - of the built-in desires. This is a
> "problem" from the perspective of the genes, anyway.

I understand your view, I think ... but I think it's wrong.

Culture makes us smarter and more adaptable, so genes that lead to culture
be selected, and they are

> I regard none of this as a factor in my picture of how a mind *should*
> work.

Well, our evolutionary heritage has many minusses, e.g. the dark aspects of
(jealousy, etc.); aggression; etc.

But I was noting one plus: it integrates relatively useful goal systems all
through our
minds in subtle & complex ways.

If Ai systems don't evolve, they'll have to get this some other way, that's
all. It's far from


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