RE: Time and Minds/Big Daddy

From: Aikin, Robert (
Date: Sun Sep 23 2001 - 13:50:05 MDT

You may be deeply disturbed and frightened if you wish. However, I would
suggest not letting my sarcasm push you into emotional despair. Rather,
chew on this:

The AI-to-SI theories propagated by SL4 and others are VERY interesting to a
wide spectrum of curious minds. Those who see Friendly AI as the next step
in the human journey get a certain rush from such prospects. And there are
others who are just as curious, but for other reasons. The so-called
mainstream of Catholics, Protestant Christians, Orthodox and Conservative
Jews and Muslims are not likely to share the trans-human/post-human
enthusiasm, i.e., having machine intelligence replace human hierarchy, not
to mention "God". The possibilities (even probabilities) of uploading
humans, etc. surpasses the nightmares these folks share about "The End of
Days" (at least in the biblical theory, God comes to the rescue). In a very
real fashion, AI <is> just that - THE END as defined by monotheism. Once
better understood by the "moral majority" the theories behind the R&D of AI
will likely be treated as the apotheosis if evil, an evil greater than
abortion, euthanasia, adultery, materialism, and the like, combined.

When the concepts are better understood by greater numbers, organized
religion will be forced to study the available documents and determine an
official position. This will have repercussions on many levels. The most
obvious being the political level where AI R&D will suffer in one form or
another under stricter "moral" guidelines. Where the Feds leave off, the
religious zealots will pick-up. It is not too far-fetched to imagine groups
of well-funded and connected "believers" hunting down and waging a very
different kind of "holy war" on the scientists and proponents of AI (a holy
war unlike the political/cultural being seen in the Muslim world/s, but one
which unites human beings who "serve God" against the "blasphemers" who
willing sell-out the human race [which, after all, it will be
justified/rationalized, is created by the Holy One in His Image...really
Their Image/s...but that's theological nitpicking]).

This moment in time might very well be the proverbial good-old-days when
folks could hunker-down on their work station and share their thoughts and
dreams about AI without fear. For there may soon come a time when people
are identified as either "serving The Lord" or "serving Satan" in the hunt
to rid the race of traitors. Unless one is working behind the secured walls
of a major corporate and/or government/military facility, a person may find
him/herself in a world of sh*t, that is, at the mercy of folks who truly
believe they are saving the human race from extinction.

My understanding (don't get frightened here), as limited as it may be, is
that a number of Bishops and Cardinals are currently reviewing the concept/s
related to AI and "spiritual machines" and will be formulating an official
response to the "dangers" of such research. A statement may be issued by
Rome (to be followed by others elsewhere) within a year (they tend to move
about as quickly as any government bureaucracy).

In the beginning, there won't be much to worry about. Social movements
(consider anti-abortionists as an example) take some time to organize...

BTW, I'm getting back to work...not because "I'm unimportant", but because I
have a beautiful wife and precious daughter to support. Now if that
distresses you, email me personally.


-----Original Message-----
From: Xavier Lumine []
Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2001 11:36 AM
Subject: RE: Time and Minds/Big Daddy

>The brain power necessary for this will
>probably find these words to be irritating. So I'll get back to my own
I am deeply disturbed and frightened by this comment.

I often find self-describing 'bystanders' posting on this list, following
their often important thought with something along the lines of "but I'm no
one to speak" or "I probably don't know what I'm talking about" or "I'm
getting back to my work because the people who actually write AI will sneer
at my post". The individuals on the Friendly AI project under the
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence are not superhuman. We are

a small team of computer programmers, self-educated cognitive scientists and

ethusiasts. Although I will not dispute that bright engineers and designers
are necessary to create true Friendly AI, we are still people with an
incomplete view of the world and posts to this list are not laffable nor

I am always happy and interested to read the various essays and viewpoints
posted here. Please, all future posters, do not terminate your messages with

"I'm getting back to work, I am unimportant" or something similar because
that only causes me distress.

Dmitriy Myshkin

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