From: Ben Goertzel (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Apr 19 2001 - 10:35:22 MDT
As for the Webmind Inc. article...
Actually, we were not evicted from the building.
And the large firms we are talking to about investment are interested not
only in market prediction, but in text classification & other aspects of our
Other than that, it's fairly close to accurate... hopefully it will help
drum up some investment $$ ...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf
> Of Declan McCullagh
> Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2001 12:27 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: FW: Group releases "Friendly AI guidelines," Webmind goes
> Thanks for forwarding. If I may quibble with your quibble,
> my Subject: line did not say "Friendly AI released" but
> "Friendly AI guidelines released."
> There's a big difference, as I'm sure you can appreciate. :)
> On Thu, Apr 19, 2001 at 12:18:03PM -0400, Patrick McCuller wrote:
> > The only problem I have with the story is that Friendly AI
> isn't exactly
> > 'released'. But it is an entertaining read.
> > (Forwarding allowed by restricted license; see below.)
> > Patrick McCuller
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: email@example.com
> > [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Declan McCullagh
> > Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2001 11:29 AM
> > To: email@example.com
> > Subject: FC: Group releases "Friendly AI guidelines," Webmind goes
> > bankrupt
> > http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,43158,00.html
> > Intelligenesis Faces Dim Future
> > By Declan McCullagh (firstname.lastname@example.org)
> > 2:00 a.m. Apr. 19, 2001 PDT
> > A pioneering New York company that once hoped to develop the first
> > artificial intelligence is preparing to declare bankruptcy.
> > Intelligenesis Corp., which was creating the Webmind software, has
> > been evicted from its Broadway office suite and plans to file for
> > Chapter 7 bankruptcy next week.
> > [...]
> > **********
> > http://www.wired.com/news/technology/1,1282,43080,00.html
> > Making HAL Your Pal
> > by Declan McCullagh (email@example.com)
> > 2:00 a.m. Apr. 19, 2001 PDT
> > Eliezer Yudkowsky has devoted his young life to an undeniably unusual
> > pursuit: planning for what happens when computers become far smarter
> > than us.
> > Yudkowsky, a 21-year-old researcher at the Singularity Institute, has
> > spent the last eight months writing an essay that's half precaution,
> > half thought exercise, and entirely in earnest.
> > This 750 KB treatise, released Wednesday, is not as much speculative
> > as predictive. If a computer becomes sufficiently smart, the argument
> > goes, and if it gains the ability to harm humans through
> > nanotechnology or some means we don't expect, it may decide
> it doesn't
> > need us or want us around.
> > One solution: Unconditional "friendliness," built into the AI as
> > surely as our genes are coded into us.
> > "I've devoted my life to this," says Yudkowsky, a self-proclaimed
> > "genius" who lives in Atlanta and opted out of attending high school
> > and college.
> > It's not for lack of smarts. He's a skilled, if verbose,
> writer and an
> > avid science-fiction reader who reports he scored 1410 on his SATs,
> > not far below the average score for Stanford or MIT students.
> > Yudkowsky's reason for shunning formal education is that he believes
> > the danger of unfriendly AI to be so near -- as early as tomorrow --
> > that there was no time for a traditional adolescence. "If
> you take the
> > Singularity seriously, you tend to live out your life on a shorter
> > time scale," he said.
> > Mind you, that's "Singularity" in capital letters. Even so-called
> > Singularitians like Yudkowsky admit that the term has no precise
> > meaning, but a commonly accepted definition is a point when human
> > progress, particularly technological progress, accelerates so
> > dramatically that predicting what will happen next is futile.
> > The term appears to have been coined by John von Neumann, the great
> > mathematician and computer scientist who used it not to refer to
> > superhuman intelligence, but to the everyday pace of science and
> > technology.
> > Science-fiction author Vernor Vinge popularized the concept in the
> > 1980s, capitalizing the word and writing about whether mankind would
> > approach Singularity by way of machine intelligence alone or through
> > augmented mental processes. Predictions vary wildly about
> what happens
> > at the Singularity, but the consensus seems to be that life as
> > humanity currently knows it will come to a sudden end.
> > Vinge is the closest thing Singularitians have to a thought leader,
> > spokesman and hero. He offers predictions based on measures of
> > technological progress such as Moore's Law, and sees the Singularity
> > as arriving between 2005 and 2030 -- though some Vinge aficionados
> > hope the possibility of uploading their brains into an immortal
> > computer is just around the corner.
> > One of them is Yudkowsky, who credits Vinge for turning him onto the
> > Singularity at age 11. "I read True Names," he said, referring to a
> > Vinge novel. "I got to page 47 and found out what I was going to be
> > doing for the rest of my life."
> > Since then, Yudkowsky has become not just someone who predicts the
> > Singularity, but a committed activist trying to speed its
> arrival. "My
> > first allegiance is to the Singularity, not humanity," he writes in
> > one essay. "I don't know what the Singularity will do with
> us. I don't
> > know whether Singularities upgrade mortal races, or
> disassemble us for
> > spare atoms.... If it comes down to Us or Them, I'm with Them."
> > [...]
> > Like a character from science fiction, Yudkowsky sees his efforts as
> > humanity's only hope.
> > In an autobiographical essay, he writes: "I think my efforts could
> > spell the difference between life and death for most of humanity, or
> > even the difference between a Singularity and a lifeless, sterilized
> > planet... I think that I can save the world, not just because I'm the
> > one who happens to be making the effort, but because I'm the only one
> > who can make the effort."
> > ###
> > [Clarification: Yudkowsky just emailed me to say he received a
> 1600 on his
> > SATs when he took them again. --Declan]
> > POLITECH -- Declan McCullagh's politics and technology mailing list
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