RE: FAI: Collective Volition

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Jun 02 2004 - 08:24:29 MDT


> Seriously, I don't see how anyone can make this huge fuss
> over sentience in
> AGI when you don't know how it works and you can't give me a
> walkthrough of
> how it produces useful outputs.

On this topic, I'm going to make a response that I often hear from you:
That is a long story and I don't have time to try to jam a summary into
an email. Some of my recent essays that are on the dynapsyc site have
addressed this topic. This topic will occupy some of Book III of my
long-awaited, in-process AI trilogy.

> My brilliant new
> notion is to
> understand what I am doing, rather than randomly guessing,
> and see if that
> lets me finish my work before the meddling dabblers blow up
> the world by
> accident. Though in your case it does begin to border on
> being on purpose.

Eliezer, I have never advocated nor pursued "random guessing" as an
approach to AI. I have studied a large percentage of relevant science
and am acting on that basis.

I have advocated creating infrahuman AGI systems and experimenting with
them, in order to learn more about AGI and develop a better theory of
general intelligence and its dynamics.

Your characterization of me as a "dabbler" is silly; I've spent a lot
more time thinking about this stuff than you have, due to having been
around longer; and I've spent a large percentage of my life at it.

Your characterization of me as a "meddler" is ridiculous -- I don't even
know how to react. By working on AI, I'm meddling in what you consider
to be properly your business and not mine?? Egads! Perhaps you've been
watching too much Scooby-Doo.

Finally, your allegation that I am semi-intentionally working to blow up
the world is nasty as well as absurd. Quite honestly, I believe my
approach to AGI has a lot better chance of "saving the human race" than
yours does. You're welcome to disagree with me on this -- but such
disagreement doesn't give you the right to tell me what my own motives

Anyway, I have better things to do with my day than respond at greater
length to your unwarranted insults.

Have fun with your intriguing philosophizing, my friend...

-- Ben G

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