Re: Singularity intros (was: Si definition of Friendliess)

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sat Apr 07 2001 - 10:32:31 MDT

James Higgins wrote:
> Well, actually, if the anti-Singularity memes start doing the talk show
> circuit it could potentially bring a halt to the project. If the general
> population was sufficiently enraged by the thought that this small, elitist
> group wanted to destroy their future I could easily see the mob mentality
> taking over. And it would be rather difficult to concentrate on
> programming a seed AI while your being protested, attacked and, if their
> upset enough, fire bombed.

I have to agree with this. It wouldn't halt the advance of time, but it
would effectively put an end to the possibility of the Singularity
occurring "in a calm and orderly fashion". If the Singularity still
occurred due to Friendly AI, it might be an underground network of
programmers working through Freenet (civil disobedience), some incredibly
sensible military researcher who pushed his project into the use of
"Friendly AI" semantics (government exception), and so on. If not, things
degenerate into more chaotic and catastrophic scenarios; nanotech followed
by someone getting a few hours of time on a nanocomputer, the Internet
reaching the point of supersaturation where spontaneous emergence is
possible, nanotechnological warfare, and so on.

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

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