Re: The ethics of argument (was: AGI funding)

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sun Nov 10 2002 - 13:03:12 MST

Ben Goertzel wrote:
> Let Y = "Institutions and people with a lot of money"
> I understand that there are risks attached to convincing Y of X via X2
> rather than X1
> The problem is that there are also large risks attached to not convincing Y
> of X at all.
> The human race may well destroy itself prior to launching the Singularity,
> if Singularity-ward R&D does not progress fast enough.
> The balancing of these risks is not very easy.
> Taking the coward's way out regarding the risks of PR, could have
> dramatically terrible consequences regarding the risks of some nutcase (or
> group thereof) finally getting bioterrorism to work effectively...

Oh. You have a *goal*. I didn't realize you had a goal. It must be okay
to ignore your ethics if you have a goal.

Anyone can be ethical when nothing much is at stake. What makes a
Singularitarian is the ability to keep your ethical balance when the
entire planet is at risk.

I'm curious. What do you propose I should do about the fact that
Novamente *would* destroy the world if it worked, given that you still
don't understand Friendly AI?

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

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