Re: Singularity Institute - update

From: James Rogers (
Date: Thu May 01 2003 - 01:05:31 MDT

On 4/30/03 9:30 PM, "Ramez Naam" <> wrote:
> Turn that intellect of yours towards the problem of raising money for
> a project like yours. Given what you know of human behavior and the
> patterns of research funding in the world today, what do you see as
> the path most likely to get you the resources you need?

I generally consider the usual "research funding" to be an inferior type of
funding compared to some other more imaginative options, and so I would
probably ignore that altogether if I applied my intellect to the problem.
There are many sources of funding that are substantially more "robust" than
most research funding that do not require the attainment of time consuming
academic credentials. There are many kinds of reputations that can be
turned into capital, people in research just tend to fixate on the academic

To give a somewhat oblique example, if Jack Welch (the former CEO of General
Electric) decided to start an AGI company without spending a single dime of
his own money, I can guarantee you that his startup would have mountains of
capital at his disposal. It could be (in our opinion) one of the stupidest
AGI ideas ever presented but that fact alone would not stop his ability to
obtain capital, and despite the fact that Jack Welch has exactly zero
expertise in the field of AI and wasn't investing his own money in the

I would suggest that the obvious methods of funding haven't worked very well
for most AI researchers historically. It is limiting to only consider the
best ways to get "research" funding. Take a more strategic view and get
yourself some reputation and credentials beyond academic ones. It isn't
that difficult to obtain reputation/credentials on a non-academic axis that
can be converted into serious capital for AGI, especially not for a bright
person willing to put in some work.

What is your goal ultimately, to build stellar credentials in the academic
AI community or to build an AGI? These are not the same thing. And I
suspect the first person to successful build an AGI will have all the
intellectual credentials they need, whether they climbed the academic ladder
or not. :-)


-James Rogers

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