RE: Convincing wealthy benefactors to back real AI research

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 19:05:16 MDT

Hi Brian,

Your points are very well taken

I am seriously considering raising funds for 2 separate entities

-- a nonprofit org dedicated to creating "real AI" by continuing the work on
the Webmind AI Engine

I think I can get $$ for this, in a modest amount sufficient to support,
say, 12 guys in Brazil and 3 in the US. This should be enough to get the
system finished within a couple years.

I note that some of the investors I think I can get, may be too mentally
conservative to believe in the Singularity, but may still believe that
"real AI" research is a cool thing and should be funded

-- a for-profit company focusing on the existing and proven technology
components leveraging particular technologies from within the AI ENgine.
This company of course will use further results as they come out of the real
AI research group, under some appropriate legal arrangement, but won't fund
far-reaching AI Dev in itself

I'm suspecting that this bifurcation will make fundraising easier, as
investors rightly like to see a tight focus in the organizations they invest

However, all this will likely have to wait for the bankruptcy court to
finish doing its business with the existing Webmind Inc., and I'm not sure
how long that will take... ;(


> I don't see how anyone that fully internalizes those three items can come
> to any other conclusions regarding the use of any totally unused
> funds they
> may have sitting around. The hard part is getting potential
> funders to fully
> internalize/accept these things... some people don't believe a Singularity
> can occur, others think it will be bad, and others think that AI
> is too hard.
> It certainly requires some optimism... SIAI at least is doing its best to
> attack #2 with our Friendly AI document.
> As for Webmind you are in a different zone- you are trying to get
> investors
> to fund it based on giving them an economic return later on. That approach
> might actually be harder, except for the fact that you guys already have
> some good demo applications, working code, and even some
> revenue-generating
> clients. I'm surprised no one so far has been willing to revive it!

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