Re: Open Source Friendly AI? (was Singularity and the generalpublic)

From: James Higgins (
Date: Fri Apr 13 2001 - 09:24:48 MDT

At 02:17 AM 4/13/2001 -0400, Brian Atkins wrote:
>James Higgins wrote:
> > At 11:41 PM 4/12/2001 -0400, Decan McCullagh wrote:
> > 2) It would pull in some of the rogue groups who would go it alone.
>I don't see how this would help. By releasing our code and ideas we actually
>encourage/help along splinter groups. If we keep the code and ideas more
>private then they have to come and chat with us if they don't want to try
>to reinvent the wheel.

Lets say someone was determined to be the first to get AI and they
succeed. Wouldn't it be better for everyone if they included Friendliness
in it since it was available as an open source module? Regardless of if
they come chat with you or not, the odds that the race winning AI team use
Friendlieness go way up if your project is available as open source.

> > 3) Open Source could massively speed up the process. Instead of having a
> > few coders working on it, thousands or more would be able to
> > contribute. (with very high quality control, of course)
>Actually open source has so far in general proven itself to be a much slower
>method of software development. And it gets worse on larger/more complex
>projects. How many hackers do you think will really be able to contribute
>much to an AI project? Many fewer than can contribute to something like
>Mozilla, and look how slow that thing has gone.

Well, I wasn't necessarily suggesting that you farm it all out to open
source programmers. You would still have your crack team of programmers &
researchers to do most of the programming. A single person on your team
would manage communications with the open source community. They could
relay any significant ideas or code snippets to the programmers that
originated outside.

> > 4) Probably the #1 biggest benefit is improved quality. Open Source in
> > many ways is the pinnacle of code reviews. Having so many ideas study the
> > source would reveal far more errors and problems than an isolated team
> > could ever accomplish.
>Actually I've seen that Linux has more bugs reported on Bugtraq than any
>other operating system. Is this because it is buggier, or because more
>stuff gets found? Perhaps someday Mozilla will become better than Internet
>Explorer in terms of stability, but for now the closed source approach
>using highly skilled programmers has worked better.

Uh, yeah, they have more bugs reported because they have more testers than
any other operating system! Programmers can't fix bugs if they don't know
they exist. If your trying to imply that Linux is less stable or has more
actual bugs than Windows I think your nuts. But even if you are right, do
you have the hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of programmers
it takes to get Windows that stable in-house?

> > 5) Providing a common, open source Friendly AI system would allow other
> > groups who insist on pursuing this themselves to incorporate your friendly
> > tech.
>Or allow Saddam Hussein to get his evil AI up and running that much faster.
>To be realistic, real AI is an extremely powerful technology, and our view
>is to not hand it over to people we don't know and trust.

I have found though many past mistakes that paranoia like this is a death
sentence for your project. Because it greatly increases the change that
you won't succeed in the way you desire to.

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