RE: SIAI's flawed friendliness analysis

From: Bill Hibbard (
Date: Tue May 20 2003 - 15:18:27 MDT

On Sun, 18 May 2003, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:

> Bill Hibbard wrote:
> >
> > I never said that safe AI is a sure thing. It will require
> > a broad political movement that is successful in electoral
> > politics. It will require whatever commitment and resources
> > are needed to regulate AIs. It will require the patience to
> > not rush.
> ### Historically, non-competitive organizations (land monopolies) with very
> long feedback loops (e.g. 4-year elections) tend to be very ineffective in
> controlling problems resulting from the actions of large numbers of
> independent, fast-acting agents. An example is guerilla warfare, and
> terrorism, where minimal resources expended by attackers can be only
> defeated with extremely damaging, very costly responses of the state. If you
> add the problem that an AI would be incomprehensible to the vast majority of
> persons involved in the political process, much more incomprehensible and
> unpredictable than the average guerilla, failure of the political process to
> assure safe AI is guaranteed, except if a global prohibition on all progress
> in AI, and computing science in general, was somehow achieved.
> If independent development of AI was unsafe, a political process would not
> make it any less so.

Pointing out the difficulties does not justify not even
trying. Independent development of AI will be unsafe. A
political process is not guaranteed to solve the problem,
but it is necessary to at least try to stop humans who
will purposely build unsafe AIs for their own imagined

Regulation will make it more difficult for those who want
to develop unsafe AI to succeed. The legal and trusted AIs
will have much greater resources available to them and thus
will probably be more intelligent than the unregulated AIs.
The trusted AIs will be able to help with the regulation
effort. I would trust an AI with reinforcement values for
human happiness more than I would trust any individual

It really comes down to who you trust. I favor a broad
political process because I trust the general public more
than any individual or small group. Of course, democratic
goverement does enlist the help of experts on technical
questions, but ultimate authority is with the public.
When you say "AI would be incomprehensible to the vast
majority of persons involved in the political process"
I think you are not giving them enough credit. Democratic
politics have managed to cope with some pretty complex
and difficult problems.


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