Re: Collapsarity

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Wed Apr 02 2003 - 01:07:44 MST

Ben Goertzel wrote:
>>What I said is that suffering of the degree present in our world is proof
>>enough that a Friendly AI is not present.
> Hmmm... [jumping into the conversation quite late] ... I guess that is true
> under a narrow conception of what a Friendly AI is.
> However, the amount of suffering in the world does not seem to me to be
> intrinsically incompatible with the presence of a superintelligent AI with a
> basically benevolent outlook.
> Perhaps all this suffering is "necessary" in some sense that our pesky
> little human minds are not good at understanding...

Well, our "pesky little human minds" are what we are stuck with
for now. That last bit bothers me due to the negative
conditioning of being raised with the continuous refrain, "The
ways of God are mysterious and cannot be understand and should
not be questioned by puny human minds." I rebelled against it
then and I still do.

However, I can see possible ways that an FAI could be in charge
of a "universe", or apparent reality at least, where suffering
still does exist. One possibility is that the universe is
tailored for the natural evolution of beings who transcend their
evolved limits. The suffering is there as natural consequence
of the type of evolved beings and the nature of the laws
governing that world. It is also a goad to further development.
  Sure the FAI could just cook up beings but perhaps those lack
some critical capacities that evolved intelligences have or
eventually developed that the FAI cannot directly create. For
that matter perhaps we are the working out of the steps within
the mind of the FAI.

Ultimately of course this leads nowhere. At some time/place
there had to exist a species that got to a FAI without one being
present already. Unless of course the FAI transcends space-time
and becomes involved in its own becoming. Perhaps it builds
sims to look for the steps that could have led to less
suffering/death along the way to Singularity. Those sims look
feel perfectly real to those within them.

Another possibility is that those not ready to participate in or
reap the benefits of Singularity are watched over in some way
(popped into a VR perhaps) where they have full freedom to work
out all their tendencies and eventually grow beyond them. This
would require a VR and/or [virtual] reincarnation. But it is
one possible answer to what a FAI might consider as a way for
human sentients to both have their freedom and desired
self-evolution without being a real (versus virtual) danger to
themselves or others.

So I agree with the general notion that there are more ways of a
FAI being present with and allowing suffering than can be easily
be disposed of.

- samantha

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:42 MDT