Re: [JOIN] Stephen Reed

From: Christian L. (
Date: Wed May 22 2002 - 02:58:39 MDT

>From: "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>
>Subject: Re: [JOIN] Stephen Reed
>Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 18:54:30 -0400
>"Christian L." wrote:
> >
> > I'm curious about this statement. My gut feeling is that the military
> > consider research aimed at the Singularity as something potentially very
> > *harmful* to the nation. If the research is successful, it would mean
> > END of the government and the military. My feeling is also that there
>are a
> > great deal of narrow minded people in the government/military sector,
> > perhaps are afraid of such a massive upheaval.

>think that if the typical officer in the US military saw a real chance of
>ending war forever, they would see this as a *very* good thing, not a

But the Singularity is a double-edged sword. Some of the potential outcomes
of a Singularity might just as well be the obliteration of the human race.
(This would in fact end war forever, but it was probably not what you had in
mind ;->)

You have to weigh the potential benefits against the potential dangers. Most
people on this list think that the Singularity is inevitable and we might as
well work hard to make it happen as fast and as Friendly as possible.
Others might see the risks as too great, and would then try to halt
Singularity research. After all, you can never be completely sure what your
SI would do after it is released. There might be a widespread public
pressure for stopping this kund of research.

Such attemts to halt research would probably be futile, but I feel that it
may be a plausible scenario. If it comes about, it would probably be after
some spectacular breakthrough in AI, and at that time it could be already
too late.

>To the extent that people are narrow-minded, they are likely to
>miss out on the possibility of a real upheaval entirely, seeing the whole
>issue in terms of an ordinary technological revolution instead.

Yes, I agree. If no spectacular breakthrough comes about, conservative
people would probably no think it possible at all.


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