RE: Singularity graphics

From: Aikin, Robert (
Date: Wed Oct 10 2001 - 07:19:42 MDT

Are you kidding? Who's not paying attention here?

A pyramid? Hebrew lettering? Am I missing something here? The concept
submitted was a symbol for conscious AI (an eye with no style smacking of
religion, e.g. Egyptian Ra) within a unicursal geometric star. Neither is
Jewish. I'm not sure how you managed to find Hebrew lettering in such.
There are no characters whatsoever from any linguistic family. I take it
your parents are (or were) Jewish, and perhaps your upbringing has something
to do with subliminally reading Hebrew characters.

Here is a suggestion: Forget about a mark based upon an object and focus
upon creating a graphic based upon the (English) letters SIAI. Or even
incorporating the first characters of code proposed for Friendly AI as a
symbolic representation.


-----Original Message-----
From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky []
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 9:28 PM
Subject: Re: Singularity graphics

"Aikin, Robert" wrote:
> One additional thought: Almost any symbol employed by SIAI *can* be
> interpreted as religious. The concepts already mentioned could easily be
> confused as such, e.g., a tree is a serious symbol for Kabbalists (Jewish
> and Christian mysticism); the seedling can be identified as an acorn,
> especially sacred to Druids; a handshake with that of secret
> societies/fraternities like Freemasonry; an eye for a number of
> cults... Personally, I think that any graphic design should be used
> a concern for how it might be misinterpreted. AI is a profound
> beyond the superstitions of past ages.

In the words of Mr. Boffo:

Any symbol can be interpreted as religious. However, using an eye in a
pyramid surrounded by Hebrew lettering as your symbol is just begging for

Picking a symbol that has no immediate mystical connotations to the
average browsing rationalist is a different task than picking a symbol
which *cannot* be mystically interpreted. We might put three graphics on
the back of a T-Shirt, but if so, we'd probably put them in a straight
line rather than a triangle.

And SIAI's current decision is that we want to stay out of trouble, and
that this is worth some visual inconvenience if required.

> Any possible SIAI mark could have a
> textual disclaimer or explanation of the symbol for the public.

A symbol that requires explanation to avert a bad reaction is not
acceptable - we'd take something totally abstract first.

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