Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Eugen Leitl (
Date: Fri Jan 02 2004 - 07:01:12 MST

On Fri, Jan 02, 2004 at 12:38:54PM +0000, Mitchell Porter wrote:

> If it motivates you... But I don't think it will happen, and
> I also don't think it spells doom. Basically, in my view the
> sequence of developments will be dumb grey goo, AI,
> smart grey goo. Dumb goo just replicates blindly. Smart

Molecular circuitry will come considerably sooner than self-replicating
machine-phase systems; that substrate seems sufficient for a brute-force AI

As AI changes all the rules, I don't think it's valid to postulate any
milestone sequence in good faith.

> goo is like Vinge's Blight. Dumb goo comes before AI
> because it's simpler. AI comes before smart goo because
> AI on a stable platform is easier. Humans have a chance
> against dumb goo; they don't, against sufficiently smart

Ecosystem goes in a couple of days; will human have a chance? I doubt it, but
I also doubt a team of human designers will produce something as fulminant as

You can't sustainably protect an ecosystem without thoroughly salting it with
the countermeasure -- this would be almost as bad as the blight itself.

> goo; but there'll be an opening for Friendly AI in between.

-- Eugen* Leitl leitl
ICBM: 48.07078, 11.61144
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