Re: SIAI: New Volunteer Coordinator

From: Jeff Medina (
Date: Tue Mar 01 2005 - 13:55:47 MST

Greetings, everyone. As I'm sure most of you realize, SIAI's mission
is of the utmost importance. I'm very excited to have this opportunity
to participate in increasing the likelihood of a safe Transition.

Some of my initial thoughts on activities follow; your comments and
feedback are welcome.

1. Build a list of sites from which we might request links or link exchanges.

2. Build a list of bloggers to contact. A few times, I've had e-mails
to popular bloggers quoted or referenced in subsequent posts, greatly
increasing the exposure my comments would otherwise have received.
There are two approaches here, both of which we might pursue. First,
becoming more active in the technology and/or ethics blogspheres, to
win the hearts (minds) of more people already dedicating some of their
time to tech, ethics, or both. Second, contacting a few popular
"general" blogs with interesting e-mails, with the hope that they will
take to the message (doubtful) or just think our issues are so odd or
wrong as to deserve mention (ridicule even). That's fine to me to an
extent, because the exposure still seems a net good and because we can
in many cases defend ourselves in the relevant comments section,
increasing public awareness that we exist and promoting FAI-directed
public dialogue.

3. Work with volunteers, where plausible, to initiate...
       - Local talks/lectures on SIAI-relevant issues
       - Discussion/reading groups with books from the SIAI reading list
       - Student groups, for volunteers at university

I am involved in growing these activities in the D.C. area, and will
gladly help you establish a successful local presence in your area. In
some cases, I may even be able to travel to your city to better help
set up events, speak on Singularity ethics & issues, or participate in
discussion groups. Contact me if you're interested!

4. Create and distribute a bullet list of talking points on the
Singularity and the importance of SIAI's work.

5. Similarly, create and distribute a list of frequent objections and
our responses to those objections.

The information content of 4 & 5 is already available spread across
articles on and the SL4 wiki and archives, so this is
more about repackaging/consolidating than creating new arguments,
although new compelling arguments are always welcome.
4 & 5 would both be useful in pursuing 1, 2, & 3.

6. I would also like to gather resources for SIAI on effective
advocacy techniques, the social psychology of successful movements,
ways of (non-deceptively) framing our message that make it more likely
for people to connect to the importance of our goals.

I've already begun doing a net search for relevant materials. If you
know of anything that would be useful in this regard, speak up.

7. Lastly, this list is not exhaustive. I would love to hear any
thoughts you might have on directions the SIAI volunteer community
might take or resources we might use.

In addition to this e-mail address (,
which I check regularly, you can also add me to your AIM contact list
and/or give me a call. My username is "wwfaid", which stands for "What
would Friendly A.I. do?", and my mobile number is (703) 944-1386. Feel
free to contact me by any of these methods to discuss SIAI volunteer
opportunities or related matters.

Jeffrey Alexander Medina [Jeff]
Relationships and Community Fellow, Institute for Ethics and Emerging
Volunteer Coordinator, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Department of Philosophy, Birkbeck College London
Technical Consultant, AT&T Corp.

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