friendly ai

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Jan 27 2001 - 21:45:41 MST

Again, no time for a thorough response to your paper, but here's a

You make a very good case that due to

        -- AI's not evolving in a predator-prey situation

        -- AI's not having to fight for mates

        -- AI's being able to remove from their own brains, things that they find

        -- AI's being able to introspect, and understand the roots and dynamics of
their behaviors,
                more thoroughly than humans

and other related facts, AI's are probably going to be vastly mentally
healthier than humans,
without our strong inclinations toward aggression, jealousy, and so forth.

But, the case is weaker that this is going to make AI's consistently and
persistently friendly.

There are 2 main points here

AI's may well end up ~indifferent~ to humans. My guess is that even if
initial AI's are
explicitly programmed to be warm & friendly to humans, eventually
"indifference to humans" may become
an inexorable attractor...

There WILL be an evolutionary aspect to the growth of AI, because there are
computer resources and AI's can replicate themselves potentially infinitely.
So there will be a
"survival of the fittest" aspect to AI, meaning that AI's with greater
initiative, motivation, etc.
will be more likely to survive.

At least, though, an AI will only need to retain those traits that are
needed for CURRENT survival;
unlike we humans, who are saddled with all kinds of traits that were useful
for survival in some long-past
situation. This will remain their big advantage, as you point out, in
slightly different language.

Points 1 and 2 tie in together. Because all my experimentation with genetic
algorithms shows that,
for evolutionary processes, initial conditions are fairly irrelevant. The
system evolves fit things that
live in large basins of attraction, no matter where you start them. If
'warm & friendly to humans' has a smaller basin
of attraction than 'indifferent to humans', then randomness plus genetic
drift is going to lead the latter
to dominate before long regardless of initial condition.

-- Ben

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