RE: The Future of Human Evolution

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Sat Oct 02 2004 - 02:07:49 MDT

>My skepticism about the solidity of this kind of
philosophical thinking
seems to be borne out by the history of Eliezer's
thinking so far -- each
year he argues quite vehemently and convincingly for
his current
perspective; then, a year later, he's on to a
different perspective.... I
don't think he's wrong to change his views as he
learns and grows, but I do
think he's wrong to think any kind of near-definite
conclusion about
Friendly AI is going to be arrived at without
significant empirical
experimentation with serious AGI's... Until then,
opinions will shift and
grow and retreat, as in any data-poor area of inquiry.

-- Ben Goertzel

Agreed. It looks like Eliezer has consumed a huge
amount of science books and papers, and then had a big
rush of blood to the head, fooling himself into
thinking that excellent general knowledge about a
topic can substitute for deep understanding. When
fact all that is present is a half-arsed 'pop
understanding' of many disconnected bits and peices.

We all do it of course. We're all prone to
over-estimate our own reasoning abilities. I know I
sometimes read a good popular science book, have a
rush of blood to the head and feel *wow* I really
understand deep secrets about reality. And then later
I realize the understanding is largely illusionary.
In fact that's the mark of a good science book - it's
makes you feel like you too are a genius. But of
course that's just a feeling, not reality. The
insights are coming from the author, not the reader.

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                                                    - Gen. John Stark

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