RE: Losing the race.

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat May 04 2002 - 12:43:39 MDT

But, mind-building also benefits from the technological exponential
advancement, obviously.

A more solid, point, I think, is that the rate of progress of
human-brain-emulation is *easier to predict*. This is the main reason
Kurzweil harps on it so much. It's pretty obvious that as brain scanning
and computer hardware both advance, it will eventually become possible to
create a digital simulacrum of a human brain. Most people probably don't
accept this, but most people with an open-minded futurist mental framework,

The rate of progress of mind-building not guided by detailed human-brain
emulation, on the other hand, is really hard to predict. There are no
pretty curves to plot: either an amazing breakthrough will happen or it
won't. You surmise that it won't, which is your right, but it's just your
intuition. The fact that brain-building will benefit from technological
advancement proves nothing, as mind-building obviously will too.

-- Ben G

  -----Original Message-----
  From: []On Behalf Of
Mike & Donna Deering
  Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2002 12:18 PM
  Subject: Losing the race.

  The race between those building an AI by reverse engineering the human
brain physically and those reverse engineering the human mind functionally
will be won by the brain builders.

  I am sorry to say this. I wish it wasn't so. I think the implications
for friendliness are not good.

  The reason the brain builders will win is simple. What they are doing
is completely mechanical and will therefore benefit from technological
exponential advancement. Look at the Human Genome Project as an example.
The project started in 1988. By 1995 5 million base pairs had been
sequenced. 1998 100 million base pairs. June 1999 1 billion bp. June 2000
2.91Bbp. Over half of the base pairs were sequenced during the 9 months
prior to June 2000. And actually Celera completed it in 6 months by
February but agreed to delay until the joint announcement in June so as not
to embarrass the official project. Everyone was surprised by the
exponential growth curve of base pairs sequenced by time. We shouldn't be
surprised when the same thing happens with the brain builders. What Ben
Goertzel, Peter Voss, Eliezer Yudkowsky, and others are doing is at the
opposite end of the scale from mechanical, and will advance relatively
linearly until completion of the working prototype, too late.


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