RE: When does it pay to play (lottery)?

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Jan 25 2005 - 13:58:34 MST


> 1. Usually the lab begins using strong protocols _after_ the organism
> has already shown it is dangerous - but with an AGI this may be too late
> to wait before applying the strongest safety protocols. Bio labs have
> the luxury of fooling around with strange totally unknown things using
> low safety protocols initially, because if something does go wrong it
> won't be the end of the world. With an AGI, it's probably not as simple
> as quarantining a lab or small geographic area when something bad happens.


IMO, the odds of current biology experiments unexpectedly leading to a
humanity-destroying plague are higher than the odds of current AI systems
unexpectedly leading to a hard takeoff. Fortunately both odds are very low.

If I set Novamente aside and looked at the general rate of progress in
bioscience vs. AI, I'd have to say that the bio-danger looks more likely to
increase in the next 10 years than the AI-danger. Because bioscience has
been progressing amazingly fast whereas AI has been rather stagnant for a
long time.

Given my knowledge of Novamente, however, my assessment is that the
near-future AI risk is actually larger, because I can see that -- in spite
of the slow progress in AI in the past -- it is plausible for someone to
create a superhuman AI within the next few years, if they use the right
ideas and are adequately funded.

-- Ben

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