Re: To Do List

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sun Sep 30 2001 - 17:30:52 MDT

For a while now, I've been having to write things, and not the unfinished
chapters of "General Intelligence and Seed AI", either. Writing GISAI, or
working out the design of the initial AI so that the project is in more
initiable form, is the archetypal example of a task that I cannot hand off
to someone else; it is locked up in Eliezer Yudkowsky's head.

But if I can hand off anything else, I can get more done on GISAI.

The problem with writing is that it takes a lot of practice to be a good
writer; that you need to write a million words to throw away before you
can write good words. I'm probably still working on my million, but after
six years of writing about the Singularity, I would say I've gotten
reasonably good at it. The problem now is that when I have to write
something about the Singularity, it's difficult to hand off the problem to
anyone else. So what I wish is that people would start practicing now,
even if it takes a while before they can contribute webpages directly to
SIAI's site, so that two years from now I can hand things off to them.

I'd like to see more webpages written about the Singularity from the
SL4/Singularitarian viewpoint, partially so that there's a larger universe
of work out there which more people can run across, and partially so that
there's a pool of practiced writers to take the load off. The
Extropian/transhumanist group has a small army independently producing
creative and intelligent work, which they built up over the course of
years. We should start now.

Flare is a good example of something short-term where there's immediate
work to be done on the programming side. I haven't been able to hand off
Flare entirely, mostly because nobody has yet taken on the task of
understanding the whole language design and independently inventing new
pieces of it and thus being able to, e.g., write the language definition.
So I've been producing raw material and hoping that, at least by the time
the prototype is being built, someone other than me will be able to write
the language definition. That's the part that I personally want to give
away. Dmitriy would know more about whether there are any short-term
strictly programming tasks that can be handed off to someone else.

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

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