RE: Singularity Institute - update

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu May 01 2003 - 11:50:38 MDT

>From what I have seen, corporate R&D groups are either stocked with former
academics, or rely on outside academic "advisory boards" (in the case of
smaller companies, mostly). So, yeah, raising corporate funds requires a
lot of the same kind of presentation as raising academic funds -- BUT, you
can often sell somewhat more risky radical ideas in the corporate world, IF
they come along with a good story of how profitable they'll be if they
succeed. What this means is that in some ways there is more possibility to
sell AGI (artificial general intelligence) into the corporate world than
into academia, if one's AGI story is coupled with a business model.
However, this is really only true in an "up" economic phase, it's not so
true right now... right now, the US economy is down enough that gov't
funding opportunities are definitely a lot brighter than corporate ones. Of
course, the down economy has also affected the likelihood of funding from
maverick futurist philanthropists like the ones Eliezer hopes to attract.
Because, simply, these folks have less cash than they did a few years ago!

I think that FAI itself will be very, very hard to sell into academia or the
corporate world, because academia isn't going to consider FAI important
since it doesn't really believe in AGI at all; and the corporate world is
not going to see any near-term profit in FAI. Probably it would be possible
to get small one-man research grants (NSF?) for exploratory research on FAI,
but nothing significant in terms of dollar amount. Rather, whether industry
or corporate funding were sought, I think it would be necessary to seek the
funding for something that looked more plausible to the mainstream mind, but
had significant overlap with the FAI work. That is essentially how
Novamente is funded -- through business funding for projects using the
Novamente codebase that overlap with Novamente's AGI goals. We have not yet
obtained government funding for Novamente but this may be in the cards, time
will tell.

-- Ben

> > Absolutely. Even with mainstream credentials it's tough to raise R&D
> > funds. Without them it's almost impossible.
> >
> And if you are looking for corporate handouts, you'll need creds even
> more. Handing out research grants to well meaning but unqualified persons
> is grounds for shareholder lawsuits.

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