RE: Military Friendly AI

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Jun 29 2002 - 07:35:28 MDT

Eugen wrote:
> I think the majority of people here are extremely overoptimistic at the
> threshold of resources required to kick off a successful attempt, and
> socities *do* change very rapidly now, and not necessarily towards greater
> freedom.

I think understand what you're suggesting, Eugen.

You're suggesting that in 10-20 years from now,

a) we will not have created a human-level AGI yet

b) the gov'ts of the developed world will have instituted a surveillance
system that has its feelers in every computer chip of any reasonable power,
and every network hub, etc. Maybe even in every brain! AGI research will
be allowed only in gov't regulated facilities, and if the surveillance
system sees anyone doing unapproved AGI research, the gov't will step in and
squash it.

I think this is a *possible* future, I just don't think it's a likely one.

For one thing, unless we have world gov't, what's going to stop "rogue
nations" from developing their own AGI as part of their own defense/offense
efforts? To assume a safe future ensured by regulation, you effectively
have to assume a world gov't, otherwise, your future is going to include
some kind of AGI arms race, which in my view is pretty darn dangerous. (I
think it's *more* dangerous than a world where AGI is developed by industry
or maverick scientists... others may disagree.)

I think the future you describe is unlikely even if your pessimistic stance
about the pace of AGI development is wrong. But it's not an unthinkable or
ridiculous prognostication; of course, predicting the future is not easy,
especially in times of such rapid change...

>I see a number of people talking deep
> engineering hubris in face of the mothers of high-complexity efforts with
> the highest impact imaginable.

Yes, I can accept this characterization. I have "deep engineering hubris."

I kinda like the phrase, actually. Someone should use it to title a band,
or at least a CD... not a techno CD, that would be too obvious; maybe some
retro early 80's hardcore ;>

-- ben g

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