Re: ethics

From: Peter C. McCluskey (
Date: Wed May 19 2004 - 13:05:25 MDT (Aubrey de Grey) writes:
>This is just to say that I hope this discussion continues and especially
>that Eliezer finds time to set out his refutation of John's point in a
>fair bit of detail, because it is the key problem that I have always had
>with FAI of whatever form but I have never had time to delve thoroughly
>enough into the field to discover a cogent refutation (or lack of one!).
>By "refutation" I only mean a minimal one: I can't see how the problem
>of unpredictability of complex self-learning systems can be avoided even
>in principle.

 I hope Eliezer has more productive uses for his time. An intelligence
looking at a DNA-based replicator 3 billion years ago could have made
an educated guess as to whether that would do a better job of maximising
replication than the available alternatives, even if it was impossible
to predict most of the effects of replication.
 Similarly, humans can do a better than random job of comparing the
effects of different proposed designs for an AI.
 Our lack of omniscience is a problem. Get used to it.

Peter McCluskey          | I see no greater impediment to scientific progress | than the prevailing practice of focusing all of
                         | our mathematical resources on probabilistic and
                         | statistical inferences while leaving causal con-
                         | siderations to the mercy of intuition - J. Pearl

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