RE: Military in or out?

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Feb 24 2001 - 22:37:21 MST

I have recently had meetings with several individuals associated with the US
intelligence establishment,
and interested in AI. Thus, I think I can gauge the level of their interest
in, and knowledge of,
superintelligence moderately accurately.

It seems to me that the intelligence establishment (CIA, NSA, various
associated national research labs) has invested
somewhat in a number of highly specific AI components, but has no R&D
program oriented toward producing a generally
intelligent system.

 However, their lines of questioning
did not suggest to me that their own work on general AI is particularly
advanced. Of course, they could have been
covering up, but some of these people were scientists who didn't appear to
have tremendous skills in manipulating
their own personal presentation, tone of voice, etc.

What they want to do with Webmind Inc. is to perhaps use our current
products as components within some of
their internal products (whether this will happen, or whether we're
interested in doing this, is not yet decided).
They'll watch the progress of our main AI Engine project, and once the thing
is finally fully functional, I'm sure
they'll be among the first customers for it. (and even if we don't want
them to, they'll obtain it through some
shell corporation...)

-- ben

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of arona1
> Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001 11:56 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: Military in or out?
> Greetings,
> What is it that makes you believe that the military does not know
> MORE than
> the rest of us ? If you were the military, wouldn't you have spent untold
> money and research on it ? For the last 15-20 years ? If they knew how to
> create earthquakes in the mid 70's, what would they stop at ?
> Underestimating them might not be a viable option.
> Kind regards,
> Arona Ndiaye,
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Nick Bostrom" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001 8:24 PM
> Subject: Military in or out?
> > I recently corresponded with a military analyst about the artificial
> > intelligence and SI. But it made me wonder, what are people's view here
> > about the desirability of maximizing or minimizing awareness in the U.S.
> > military establishment about the implications of
> superintelligence? My own
> > inclination (which I'm not 100% confident in) is that they ought to know
> > about it; and the same goes for nanotechnology.
> >
> > Nick Bostrom
> > Department of Philosophy
> > Yale University
> > Homepage:
> >
> >

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