RE: Some bad news

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Nov 06 2002 - 20:14:28 MST

Well, that is a major bummer, Brian ;-(

The last few years have been hard economically on a lot of us, obviously.

I wonder if perhaps this event can catalyze some creative thinking on the
part of some of the bright minds on this list, regarding strategies for
raising funds for Singularity-oriented work.

Heck, I would certainly love to have some funds for pure, noncommercial,
Singularity-oriented AGI R&D work. I can't really complain about my current
personal situation, as I feel quite privileged to be getting paid to work on
Novamente-based commercial narrow-AI apps (as opposed to pumping gas, or
writing multi-tier DB systems, or designing weapons, etc. etc.). But it
would be *also* great to have funds to pay software engineers to implement
and test some of the less commercially relevant but highly AGI-relevant
aspects of Novamente. That stuff is now getting done by a small team of
excellent & dedicated volunteers, but it's not getting done nearly as fast
as it could be...

The US gov't will put $37 billion into antibiowarfare in 2003, but
essentially $0 into AGI. Funny, that.... But short-term thinking on the
part of industry and gov't is not a new story.

Fortunately, other Singularity-pointing research areas, like nanotech and
biotech and computer hardware, are getting a lot more moola. Yet AGI, which
is arguably the most central area of Singularity-ward work, is chronically
starved of resources....

If 100 million people could be convinced to put $1/year into AGI, that would
give us $100M/yr. annual funding for AGI research. Not too much to ask, for
something of such incredible importance in so many ways, eh?

Any creative, off-the-wall ideas about how to turn the general funding
situation around?

Get Eliezer to debate Dubya on Oprah??? '-)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf Of Brian
> Atkins
> Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2002 9:37 PM
> To:
> Subject: Some bad news
> Hello all. I'm sorry to announce that due to a long series of personal
> financial issues, Sabine and I will no longer be able to support the
> Singularity Institute materially. We will of course continue
> non-material means of support, including remaining members of the board
> of directors. I do want to stress that this action is taken solely due
> to our finances, and not out of any change in our viewpoint that SIAI is
> well worth helping.
> Just to be clear, this should not affect SIAI's plans, or the donations
> it has accumulated (and continues to accumulate) in its main fund. The
> only effect will be that Eliezer's research fellowship is now going to
> have to find alternate means of funding. Assuming that funding can be
> found then things will continue as before.
> Eliezer will follow up with more information about his own situation.
> --
> Brian Atkins
> Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:41 MDT