Re: How hard a Singularity?

From: James Higgins (
Date: Wed Jun 26 2002 - 10:00:17 MDT

At 07:32 AM 6/26/2002 -0700, Michael Roy Ames wrote:
>James Higgins wrote:
> >
> > Wrong, dead wrong. For one thing, why bother to check with others if you
> > just plan to ignore them anyway?
>The "plan to ignore them" is your contention, which is false. But to
>directly address the question "why bother to check with others" the answer
>is: so that they can help improve the ideas. And, to address a related
>issue: if someone offers suggestions that "make no sense" or are
>"incoherent"... why wouldn't you ignore them?

Make no sense or incoherent to who? Who decides what is a good idea and
what is a bad idea? In who's hands should the fate of the human race rest?

> > It is irrational to proceed unless there
> > is no other choice.
> >
>There is always another choice. We could do nothing, and let 'fate' decide.

Doing nothing is not a choice. The Singularity, if truly possible, WILL
occur at some point. If mainstream science purposefully sidesteps it then
a 15 year old boy in 2123 will kick off the Singularity. Or maybe in 2148
it will spontaneously start itself due to the right mix of digital signals
needed to spark artificial life.

>Not my preferred option. No-one is ever going to be 100% certain that a
>Friendly Seed AI will work out perfectly... but the same thing could be said
>of any complex project that involves large changes. The point is: *are* we

But there has only been one, or at most a very very few, complex projects
that could wipe out the human race. Don't you guys SEE THE
DIFFERENCE? You keep comparing your decisions to go forward to other
complex problems. But if Bank One fucks up their entire banking system,
having money spit out of ATMs, everyone's account balance swapped,
etc. The damage is minimal compared to a minor mistake on the
Singularity. You can NOT use the same go criteria as any project that came

And I'm not saying 100% certainty is required (I've said this). But
99.9999 would be good.

James Higgins

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