RE: The "democracy" question

From: Philip Sutton (
Date: Fri Feb 20 2004 - 12:37:14 MST

Hi Ben,

> More concrete suggestions would be appreciated!

Well, here are a few immediate thoughts off the top of my head. .....
how about finding the most democractic country in the world (pick you
favourite - but my guess is that it would be in Scandinavia or
somewhere thereabouts) and run a big discussion about the new
'technology'/(life) there - you'd get the best chance of an informed and
intelligent conversation - then the ideas and the measured response
might spill over into other countries. You could also trial the public
policy response there - cautious but not fundamentally inhibitory
(except in relation to really nasty outcomes which is what you'd want
anyway). This public policy response could then become the model for
elsewhere or at least a key benchmark.

If, by the time you want to open this up for wide discussion / decision,
the proto-AGI technology has made you stinking rich you might want to
do a George Soros and put a lot of money into (.....not ramming
through a decision or buying support) but into helping people who are
interested to engage in a measured well-informed debate and process
of consensus formation. If you are not stinking rich by then it might be
useful to enlist some people who are!

I think the 'pact with humanity' idea is a key part of calming people as is
designing/training in friendliness. I think committing AGI resources to
helping people solve their major problems (racism, oppression, poverty,
environmental degradation, climate flips, food security, terrorism, etc.)
would be a good way to win friends and influence people - and to create
the psychology of partnership with AGIs.

> Sounds like an excellent idea.... I assume you're volunteering to
> initiate this effort ;-))

90% of what I do now is pro bono - which is, to say the least, not very
good for the bank balance. If some philanthopist could cover a salary
I'd be delighted to facilitate a discussion / consensus building process

> Having a broad diversity of perspectives represented would be a really
> interesting thing

I think that would be a very good thing to do.

Cheers, Philip

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