RE: 'Singularity Realism' - A few thoughts

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu Mar 11 2004 - 11:05:02 MST


> Well, for an analogy to the Manhattan project to hold would require
> that the government is at least as clear on what is
> achievable and the
> likely way to get there as we were on producing an atomic
> bomb. I am
> not at all sure that this is the case. Do you believe this much
> clarity exists? If it does not then similar levels of resource and
> effort focus would not necessarily be successful. It is
> possible but
> I doubt it qualifies as "quite possible" yet. But you are
> closer (to
> say the least) to the state of general understanding and focus on AGI.

I think that there's a lot better understanding of AGI now than there
was 5 years ago.

To name just a couple contributions: Marcus Hutter's work has clarified
the theoretical-computer-science basis of AGI work, and Eric Baum's
conceptual work in "What Is Thought?" has made valuable connections
between Hutter/Solomonoff style AGI theory and contemporary cognitive
science. Frankly, their work is along the same lines as a lot of stuff
I published in the early 1990's, but they have developed the ideas with
more rigor and reached a larger audience.

So, I think there is a growing community who understands *what kind of
problem* AGI is, and a handful of groups proposing *plausible solutions*
to the problem. Next comes a phase of experimentation to find out how
workable these plausible solutions are. Theory will develop along with
this experimentation.

Among individuals on this list, I count my own work and that of Peter
Voss and James Rogers as among the apparently plausible solutions.
> I believe that that level of funding of some of the existing projects
> that do have a pretty good idea of what they are about could
> succeed in
> that timeframe. But I don't believe that government
> involvement would
> result in the resources going to such groups at this time.

Agreed, due to politics-of-the-science-establishment issues...

-- Ben G

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