Re: Singularity and the general public

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Fri Apr 06 2001 - 18:33:09 MDT

Brian Atkins wrote:
> This subject was discussed internally back when we formed SIAI. We decided
> on a plan of action that so far has remained pretty coherent: due to
> potential public backlash, only seek publicity up until the time we become
> fully funded.

For the record, there's a slight divergence - in motive, not in final
strategy - between myself and Brian. I feel that I'm not likely to have
the *time* to do Singularity evangelism, and SIAI may not have the
resources. I think it's important to keep one step ahead of Bill Joy, but
not necessarily to convert the planet to our point of view. Either way,
since other organizations exist which are already devoted to
pro-technology memetics, SIAI should focus on development, and possibly
FAI evangelism within the AI community.

It's not so much about trying to keep a secret. Desirable or not, ethical
or not, running in secret hasn't really been an option ever since Bill Joy
wrote that Wired article. Rather, while we're trying to expand to the
size where we can run all necessary projects, we're trying to maximize the
size of the positive group. After that we're trying to minimize the
effectiveness of the negative group. We'd still care what other people
think, but there'd be a shift in emphasis.

Anyway, that's my personal take on it.

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

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