RE: AI timeframes

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Apr 10 2004 - 05:20:26 MDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On Behalf
> Of J. Andrew Rogers
> Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004 11:52 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: AI timeframes
> Yeah, I meant "secretive" in the sense that any business with trade
> secrets is, not in the sense of "a lone nut in a bunker". I
> communicated that poorly.
> A relatively small, closely-held, non-public organization is
> probably a
> better description of what I had in mind.

OK, we basically agree then...

> If the government decided tomorrow that they absolutely,
> positively had
> to have fully functional AGI in the next five years, you would see
> remarkable things happen in a relatively short period of
> time. If you
> extend that to ten years, you end up with an organization that gets
> strangled by bureaucratic kudzu before it even gets started.
> It is the
> nature of the thing.
> The thing is, I don't see the US government (or most others for that
> matter) being sufficiently motivated in a results-oriented way to
> execute a Manhattan Project type AGI endeavor. A big part of the
> problem is that it is hard to define an indisputable concrete
> need for
> the result of such a project that the government can put its weight
> behind -- the use of such a thing for the government is nebulous at
> best and nefarious at worst -- except for perhaps inside the larger
> Department of Defense (which I doubt most people want). Manhattan
> Projects don't materialize out of thin air, they are the
> result of the
> government feeling intense external pressure.

Again, I agree with you completely.

The government will fund AGI in a *serious* way only if someone tells
our rulers a story that makes them believe getting AGI *fast* is
critical to our survival.

Most likely, this means they will fund AGI in a serious way only when
they come to believe some other nation is close to getting an AGI.

-- Ben G

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