RE: Games, competition and FSI education.

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Feb 09 2003 - 17:56:08 MST

Gordon Worley wrote:
> Deception is lying, one of the last things we want a seed AI to start
> doing. If it's capable of lying, we're in trouble and need to shut the
> AI down, if that's still possible.

I'm not so sure, Gordon.

For a superintelligent AI to lie to inferior humans will probably never be
necessary or useful.

But, when dealing with equals or superiors, the truth is that lying can be
an important tactic.

If I were in WWII Germany, and were hiding in some German dude's basement
(I'm Jewish), and the SS came in and asked the German dude "Do you know
where any Jews are?" ... well, my wish would be that the German dude would

It's an extreme example, but it makes the point that lying is not always

Hopefully a superhuman AI will never encounter a situation requiring to lie.

But, what happens when it meets a transdimensional entity hell-bent on
destroying all organic life forms, and it's asked "Do you know where any
organic life forms are?" Again, I hope it'll lie its virtual, hypothetical
ass off!!

Honesty is a very important value. But it's not an absolute value.

> Any games a Friendly seed AI plays
> must be non competitive and, more so, have no room for immoral
> techniques. The only game an AI can play is the be-moral game (and its
> subgames, like the make-everybody-happy game), and even then we must be
> careful not to expose it to deception being employed by other players
> and pieces. If you think about it more you'll see the only kind of
> game a Friendly seed AI can safely play isn't much of a game in human
> terms, but is still recognizable as a game.
> I think an adult FAI will be able to fully handle being exposed to
> people who lie without fear that it will start lying itself. Until
> such time, demonstrating the effectiveness of lying could be deadly.

My intuition is that your approach, Gordon, would create a terribly
"sheltered" digital mind, totally unable to deal with the real human world
once it was released. Game-playing gives it practice mucking around in
risk-free situations similar, in some respects, to those it will actually
encounter once released into the world. NOT giving it this kind of practice
seems to me to be the dangerous thing.

-- Ben G

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