RE: Introducing myself

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon Apr 01 2002 - 19:00:05 MST

Hi Carlo,

The people on this list are not cooperatively engaged in a concrete attempt
to create a "real AI" together.

Discussion on the list tends to involve more general issues.

However, some of us on the list are individually or as a group engaged in
such concrete efforts.

For example:

Eliezer Yudkowsky, the list owner, is in the "design phase" of his own
Singularity-focused real AI implementation efforts; and I believe he is not
at this point recruiting programmers to help him out.

Peter Voss, another list member, is in "early implementation phase" of his
AI system (developed via his startup Adaptive Intelligence Inc.); he is
recruiting programmers but *I think* only those who live in LA or are wiling
to relocate.

And, I and the rest of my "Novamente AI team" are in the midst of the
implementation phase in our own attempt to make a real AI and bring about
the Singularity. If you are interested in potentially joining our effort,
please e-mail me offlist and we can discuss it. I believe we are further
along than any other team in the world pursuing a comparable project.
Though of course it's possible we are further along in the wrong direction
;) ... the proof is in the pudding and ours is still brewing!!

There is no Website on Novamente up yet, but contains
links to some info on my previous AI project, the Webmind AI Engine.

Ben Goertzel

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of Carlo Wood
> Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 6:35 PM
> To:
> Subject: Introducing myself
> Before posting more I'd like to give a short
> introduction of myself.
> I am what you could consider a typical hacker
> (in the correct meaning of the word): I program
> 12 hours/day 7 days/week... at least, I did
> until I got RSI (Repitive Stress Injury).
> Because now I cannot type anymore all day, I
> have been reading here and there and as such
> stumbled over this transhuman stuff.
> I subscribed to this mailinglist because I am
> interested in the institute and would like to
> know what you are doing. I expected that the
> main activity is designing an AI, or at least
> discuss how that needs to designed, so that we'll
> be ready once the hardware is.
> It is my hope that I might be able to help,
> not only because I've two decades of programming
> experience but mostly because of this rather unique
> characteristic of me: I am aware of a great part
> of my subconscious. This and other deviations
> from 'normal' people haven't made my life very
> easy; I've been seeing psychologists because of
> all kinds of problems ever since the age of twelve,
> and I am still seeing one now, at age 37.
> Although it has been clear since I was still very
> young that I had a very high IQ, nobody every
> understood how I experienced the world - and mutually,
> I never understood why others reacted as they
> did. The diagnosis made when I was 20 was that
> I had something "related to autism", which pretty
> correct also in regard to the fact that I experience
> "reality" in such a different way, that others
> including the psychologist, never could comprehend
> it.
> By far my strongest points are abstract comprehension
> (thinking about infinite dimensions and non-lineair
> associations as conceptual objects comes natural to
> me) and analytic insight. It was only at the age
> of 18 however that I first understood the concept of
> emotions (and that other people actually used them
> as part of the decision making) and made a start with
> trying to analyse human relationships and social
> interaction, by far the hardest problem I ever set
> my mind to. In the meantime my own emotions fought
> to get into balance with my rational side and I
> started to study them in full, too. I didn't understand
> them at that time however (that is, I didn't understand
> were they came from). Unlike subconscious reasoning,
> emotions come from so deep that it often isn't clear
> why you feel them. Especially in that early time.
> One emotion that started to especially puzzle me was
> a feeling of lonelyness. It was only at the age of 26
> that I finally cracked the reason behind that feeling:
> then I finally realized that I was aware of 'thoughts'
> that could not be expressed in words - moreover, they
> took about 80% of my "perception" (for me, I discovered,
> my internal thought processes were so real and _present_
> that they were more important then for instance visual
> perception - or better, I first realized that this was
> NOT the case for other people. In other words, the
> largest part of my "world" could not be communicated.
> What I needed in order to liberate me from my burning
> desire for contact with other human beings turned out
> to be telepathy, because there was no other way to
> exchange the thoughts that I was aware of. However,
> that was only the start. Finally I could put my finger
> on the awareness of these thoughts and start to study
> them (and analyse them) in more detail. In the Netherlands
> we have a saying: "Not seeing the forest through the trees"
> and that was how I felt; I'd always been aware of these
> (subconscious) thoughts, I just didn't SEE them because
> they had been such a natural presence all my life.
> For a few years I analysed my own thought processes,
> trying desperately to understand myself in order to
> overcome my psychological problems as well as from the
> desire to communicate about it with others.
> The result of all these circumstances,
> 1) Being more aware of my subconscious thoughts than
> of my surroundings.
> 2) Being highly gifted (IQ in the 'genious' regions)
> with analytic insight.
> 3) Actually being able to finally (after 8 years!)
> put my finger on this special awareness, and
> 4) Not being TOO crazy so that I still had a chance
> to figure out how to communicate about it with
> people.
> makes me a rather unique specimen of humanity: I know
> how humans think.
> Hopefully now you will understand that when I read about
> the Institute and assumed that here a real effort is
> being made to simulate human thinking in a future AI,
> I had the feeling I just HAD to join to see if I could
> be of assistance with designing it.
> --
> Carlo Wood <>

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