RE: AI timeframes

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Fri Apr 09 2004 - 05:24:53 MDT


I partly agree with you, but not entirely.

About secrecy... One thing you miss by being highly secretive is the
ability to easily draw brilliant new minds into your project. AGI is
not a problem that lends itself to a LARGE team, but it is a problem
that lends itself to a team consisting of a number of highly intelligent
and insightful people, all working together, and with different "angles"
and insights. There have been a couple really great additions to the
Novamente team that would not have been made if we were more secretive.
Even though I think the NM design is basically sound, there are still a
lot of details to be worked out, and it's valuable to attract the best
possible people to help with this process. In reality this can be done
better via NOT being totally secretive, than by drawing only one one's
personal circle of acquaintances (though at any given time my personal
circle does contain a lot of really clever people...).

About private vs. governmental -- this really isn't a key point. The
government, at times, is capable of funding research in a way that gives
control to the scientists and doesn't weight them down with bureaucratic
nonsense. The Manhattan Project is one example. The Human Genome
Project is an example where the government's open process succeeded
pretty damn well, even though Celera Genomics' parallel private process
arguably succeeded a little better (in terms of development speed, and
accuracy of results). In the case of the Manhattan Project, the
government was spurred to efficiency via desperation; in the Human
Genome Project, it was spurred to efficiency largely by the presence of
Celera as a competitor.

-- Ben Goertzel

> The best bet is probably relatively secretive private research. It
> minimizes the pool of defectors and minimizes the risk of
> defection to
> the extent that such risks can be minimized. Outside
> individuals won't
> have much input on the process, but then I see very little good that
> can come of that unless one takes an improbably optimistic
> perspective.
> j. andrew rogers

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