RE: How hard a Singularity?

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Jun 26 2002 - 17:32:46 MDT

James Higgins wrote:
> It would be better on the whole to have a single committee if at all
> possible. And, yes, I do understand the complications and
> reasons why this
> is unlikely to happen. But that doesn't mean we should not try.
> If such a
> committee were formed I would not have any issues with it being
> attached to
> an entity such as the Singularity Institue, as long as most of
> its members
> weren't answerable to or involved in their development work.
> Such a committee should be formed and at least made available for other
> projects to utilize.
> >I think that a broader discussion group should *also* be assembled,
> >involving the more articulate and rational of the rabid
> >anti-Singularitarians (Joy, Lanier, etc.) as well as
> pro-technology people.
> >This committee should be assembled in order to gather its opinions only,
> >without a view toward decision-making.
> An excellent idea.

OK, so we basically do agree on this....

I agree that a such an advisory committee would work best if not tied
specifically to any one AI project.

However, if such a thing were not convened by a group concerned with a
particular AI project, then by whom?

The SIAI, in my view, is not really a general organization for "AGI and the
Singularity," it's an organization largely (though not entirely) devoted to
Eliezer's particular approach to AGI and to Friendly AI. Perhaps that is
not how it is intended, but that's how it comes across to me....

It would be good to have something sorta like the SIAI, but explicitly NOT
tied to any one AI approach, or any one approach to Friendliness.... Such
an organization could be used to advocate the Singularity notion, and in
time to convene this advisory committee that you've proposed...

Specifically, this organization should not fund any AGI research directly,
and though it might support work on the theory of the Singularity and
Friendliness, it should aspire to be as open-minded as possible in this
regard rather than developing a "pet theory"...

However, I don't think there's any tremendous urgency to start such an
organization this year. Sometime in the next 2-3 years would be good.

-- Ben G

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