Re: SIAI's flawed friendliness analysis

From: Michael Roy Ames (
Date: Thu May 29 2003 - 18:21:20 MDT

Dear Philip Sutton,

You wrote:
> I would like you to explain why in language that
> a non-mathematican can understand. If you can't
> get around to explaining your ideas in a form
> that an intelligent, informed non-mathematician
> can understand then you are commiting yourself to
> fail to communicate with the people you want to
> pusuade not to adopt Bill's approach. And so if
> this failure continues then people could
> justifiably say that *you* "have one subjunctive
> planetary kill on your record".

Perhaps you have not considered the time required for such an
explanation. There are many areas of scientific endeavour that cannot
be properly explained, even to "an intelligent, informed
non-mathematician" without months, possibly years, of study. Eliezer
has posited that FAI may be another one of those areas. I do not find
this all that hard to believe. Very smart people have been working on
this for decades without seeming to make much progress.

Additionally, I have heard that Eliezer is preparing a draft of a book,
the stated intention (on SL4 chat) of which is to lay some groundwork
for more people to understand what his AI and FAI ideas are all about.
Your point about a failure to communicate is valid, and one with which I
agree. Your target for critisizm seems wrongly chosen.

Michael Roy Ames

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