AGI awareness (was Re: AGI funding)

From: Slawomir Paliwoda (
Date: Sun Nov 10 2002 - 22:08:32 MST

> I agree, of course. But to make "news" out of AGI, we need to have some
> kind of dramatic success with our proto-AGI software, and explain it in a
> clear nontechnical way. the fact that there are some smart people working
> on AGI, or working toward the Singularity, is not "news" unless it's spun
> VERY well...

If that's "news", meaning something similar to what's being reported on CNN
or MSNBC, then yes, it would need a super spin.

But coming back to the funding problem, there exists an AGI research which
would benefit greatly from increased awareness among people who would be
interested in supporting this research. The problem is that those people
don't have a clue that this research exists so the question is how to make
them aware of it. These are some of the ways in which this could be done.

1) Identify the individuals who would have the means to support your
project, and contact them personally.

2) Contact the media and see if they can do story about you or about the
field. This way you reach much more people mentioned in 1). Those people
would probably be much more open to your ideas because those ideas would
have no stigma of being unsolicited attached to them anymore, since those
potential supporters would be the ones buying the magazines or newspapers
with the articles, or watching or listening to the interviews.

Instead of a self-initiated direct contact with potential donors that might
mess up your chances of getting anything from them in the future, the media
approach provides an indirect way of reaching much more people, who would
not have the feeling of being targeted. This
would provide a pressure-free environment in which they could evaluate the
possibility of supporting the AGI research.

3) If getting through to media is the problem, then figure out the way how
to reach the people in 1) without the media, but make it so that the contact
is indirect. This is where the strategies become really silly. Make a bunch
of T-shirts with huge address of your website or an intriguing slogan about
AGI/Singularity with your website address prominently displayed of course,
and make your supporters go where people in 1) are, wearing those T-shirt
obviously (or hats). Or label your car with AGI/Singularity-related messages
and web address, and drive around Redmond or Manhattan, for example. :)

But, seriously, I really hope that "Real AI" book does well. It's a real
opportunity to do some serious promotion of AGI research which I guess would
be perfect for places like Wired or Tech TV. You would really score big,
though, if you could get a chance to be interviewed by Tech TV. They've
already had people like Merkle and Kurzweil (promoting both his last books)
on, for example, and they always give their guests an easy time there. One
time, they even mentioned
extropians in their news. That was a shocker. Plus the exposure is not only
nationwide, but also international.

Of course, the real winner would be some working AGI-software. This would
open up many doors.


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