RE: Threats to the Singularity.

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Fri Jun 21 2002 - 11:37:57 MDT

Michael Roy Ames wrote:
> I agree with Samantha on this point: Super Intelligence does not
> equate to,
> or converge to Wisdom. Intelligence can be used to build/obtain
> wisdom, but
> that doesn't just *happen* by default... at least I have never
> encountered a
> convincing argument that it does. There is zero evidence from the our
> single data point (humanity) that intelligence automatically converges on
> wisdom, or altruism, or selfishness for that matter. I would profoundly
> *hope* that it does by default, but hoping isn't good enough when we are
> dealing with existential risks. Anyone who cares about their own future
> (and that of everyone else too) should do everything they can to face the
> problem squarely, and try to solve it.

Of course, this is correct.

Among humans, intelligence and wisdom are poorly correlated.

Among AI's, things will be a little different, but there's no reason to
believe intelligence and "wisdom" will be perfectly correlated either.

"Wisdom", however, is a complex concept. From dictionary .com we find for
instance the following:


accumulated knowledge or erudition or enlightenment

the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and
insight [syn: wiseness] [ant: folly]

ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense
and insight [syn: sapience]

the quality of being prudent and sensible [syn: wiseness, soundness]

The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.

Common sense; good judgment

A wise outlook, plan, or course of action.

There is a mixture here of meaning-threads about

a) knowing a lot
b) being able to apply one's knowledge and intelligence in pragmatically
useful ways
c) conservatism rather than propensity for risk-taking
d) keen moral judgment

Is the concept of "wisdom" -- clearly a jumble of various loosely related
subconcepts -- really a highly natural concept, with which to be analyzing
future AI's or future enhanced humans? I'm not so sure. It's just a

-- Ben G

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:39 MDT