RE: Friendliness and blank-slate goal bootstrap

From: Philip Sutton (
Date: Sun Jan 11 2004 - 08:39:35 MST

Hi Ben,

As you would guess I like the goal of "Friendliness to humans and other
sentients" more than simply "Friendliness to humans". I think AGIs will
like it better too.

However I think that there is a wider goal under or over "Friendliness to
humans and other sentients" that is shared by many people and that is
probably important in shaping the future - and that is for each sentient
being to "have respect for all life and for life's potential" (ie whether
living things are sentient or not). When I use the word 'respect' I mean
this in the sense of having "sympathetic regard for the needs,
preferences and feelings of others".

This goal could be qualified in that perhaps different forms of life could
be given more or less regard. Perhaps sentients would be given more
regard and microorganisms less. But this idea of "having respect for all
life and for life's potential" allows us to have regard for non-sentient
living things as well as sentient ones.

In fact the idea of "having respect for all life and for life's potential"
could be generalised even further if a grading of the intensity of respect
is alowed become: "have respect for everything and for its
potential" So a superpowerful AGI moving about the universe could
have a deep itch to respect all of its parts and their potential - even in
areas where/when life does not yet exist.

This notion might be a tricky one to apply at this level of extension. We
might need to buy in a bit of advice from...say the Dalai Lama (!) or
somebody of great wisdom from a non-mystical background. :)

Cheers, Philip

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:45 MDT