Re: Zen and the Singularity

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Jul 02 2002 - 00:12:13 MDT

James Higgins wrote:
> Actually, that's an interesting angle. Humans seem primarily interested
> in A God not just because he/she/it exists nor because God is powerful.
> They seem to be primarily interested in God as their Creator. Even if
> God does exist, *our* God is not the creator (I'm certain this could be
> construed otherwise by some religions) of the AI, man is. And more
> specifically the AI may be able to (virtually?) point to A single
> individual and say "S/he is my creator". I wonder what effect that
> would have on its outlook of religion. How relevant would *our* God
> even be to an AI?

Assuming that atheism is correct, I think you're being waaay too
anthropomorphic about the relation of an AI to its creator. The
programmers stand squarely in the middle of the AI's past light cone; an
AI can and should scrutinize its programmers very closely for that
reason. But to equate this to human religion is dreadfully
anthropomorphic. If there is any analogy at all, it would be to humans
studying evolutionary psychology. After all, the programmers *really
did* create the AI, just as evolution really did create us.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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