Re: SIAI seeking seed AI programmer candidates

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Jun 05 2004 - 00:05:05 MDT

On Jun 2, 2004, at 5:34 AM, Michael Wilson wrote:
> With respect,
> a) you couldn't possibly know enough about the SIAI project to make
> a reasonable guess about the shape of the tasks involved and the
> amounts, types and grades of effort required to solve them.

A safe bet as I don't believe anyone can make a reasonable guess about
this at this time. To much remains TBD.

> b) it seems unlikely that you've worked on software projects that
> have successfully invented brand new technology, repeatedly,
> throughout the whole project while working within strict safety
> standards.

Which brings up the question of what your own background is. What
have you worked on that lends authority to your words?

> c) on this project, everyone has to understand more or less everything
> that's going on. Keeping the bisection bandwidth down is critical.

Those who have worked on real projects know that this is not really
possible. Different people have different skill sets, thinking styles,
speed of thinking, creative patterns and so on. Getting them "on the
same page" is usually only very approximately doable for some subset.
Whether it is convenient/ideally safe or not, there will be persons
involved who are primarily the only ones who understand some aspects of
the system. Especially for pragmatic values of "understand" as in
capable of diagnosing problems in depth and fixing/re-designing within
critical constraints.

>> As part of the team you need some of the very best money can buy,
>> people who would command a salary of 250k+/yr in the job market.
> Nearly the whole team will need to be people like that. However even
> if the cash is available to pay them those salaries, they shouldn't
> be doing it for the money. This is the end of the world as we know it,
> even if no-one else really feels that in their bones the programmers
> must.

Real people at this level of expertise have real lives that require
real funds to keep running. It is not that they are "doing it for the
money" as these people could do a lot of easier things "for the money."
     A "the end is NEAR" tirade suggesting work for free or little more
than subsistence will get true-believer converts but probably not the
talent you need. The end is not that obvious.

>> How good are your funding projections over the next few years?
> It isn't possible to make reasonable projections because there are
> too many high-risk high-payoff operations underway. We can only plan
> for various possible outcomes.

In short, they suck. There is no realistic plan, yet.

- samantha

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:47 MDT