RE: The Future of Human Evolution

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Wed Oct 06 2004 - 21:32:45 MDT

>To put it another way: based on what I've seen of his
work so far, I think
Eliezer is a very good *philosopher*, but I don't
think philosophy is all
that's needed. I know he's trying to move beyond
philosophy and make his
work more mathematical and rigorous and definite, but
I have my doubts about
how far this can go without significant empiric

>But I don't want to diminish the power and importance
of philosophy either.
Philosophy is essential, it's just not enough. Not
even when it's
philosophy that's strongly guided by science and
adopts much of the language
of science. And I say this as someone who spent many
years working hard on
science-guided philosophy, esp. philosophy of mind...

-- Ben G

It will be fascinating to see whether Eliezer's views
under go another major shift. As you point out, his
'Friendliness theory’ appears to undergo a major
theoretical shift every 2-3 years, and a moderate
revision every 1 - 1/2 years.

1998 saw the debut of his first early ideas, 2001 saw
'Creating F.A.I', then 2004 saw 'Collective Volition'.

CV is an advance but is it the last word? I guess
not. It just has the *feel* of an operational
*description* of a human morality, rather than a deep
understanding. More like Kepler's Laws of Motion than
Newton's Universal Gravitation. And too much is
missing or swept under the carpet - the nature of
qualia and 'Personhood' for instance.

I'm betting that there is one major theoretical
advance yet to come. If Eliezer keeps to his current
schedule, it should occur sometime in 2007 ;)

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