Unfriendly AI in "Positive Transcension"

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (sentience@pobox.com)
Date: Sat Feb 14 2004 - 19:27:16 MST

Ben wrote:
> [...] once it has enough intelligence and power, will simply seize all
> processing power in the universe for itself. I think this
> “Megalomaniac AI” scenario is mainly a result of rampant
> anthropomorphism. In this context it’s interesting to return to the
> notion of attractors. It may be that the Megalomaniac AI is an
> attractor, in that once such a beast starts rolling, it’s tough to
> stop. But the question is, how likely is it that a superhuman AI will
> start out in the basin of attraction of this particular attractor? My
> intuition is that the basin of attraction of this attractor is not
> particularly large. Rather, I think that in order to make a
> Megalomaniac AI, one would probably need to explicitly program an AI
> with a lust for power. Then, quite likely, this lust for power would
> manage to persist through repeated self-modifications – “lust for
> power” being a robustly simple-yet-abstract principle. On the other
> hand, if one programs one’s initial AI with an initial state aimed at a
> different attractor meta-ethic, there probably isn’t much chance of
> convergence into the megalomaniacal condition.

1) Are you aware of how important this question is?

2) Are you aware of the consequences if you're wrong?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                          http://intelligence.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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