Re: Collective Volition, next take

From: Russell Wallace (
Date: Sat Jul 23 2005 - 14:14:41 MDT

On 7/23/05, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <> wrote:
> "For purposes of setting up the domains, the rule can be simple: each
> and every human on Earth (the ones who are old enough to make a
> choice, at least) gets to decide what domain they want to move to (or
> stay on Earth, of course); that's an operationally adequate definition
> of 'sentient' for that purpose."
> So the programmers hardcode who's old enough to move between domains.

I said _for purposes of setting up the domains_. That's not the AI's
business, it's not something the programmers have the authority to
decide, and it's not something that needs to be retained indefinitely.
Once each domain has its initial population, all the AI needs to do is
keep enforcing the rules of each domain.

> The
> individual domains can make their own definitions for internal legal systems,
> perhaps

Exactly - emigration and immigration rights are included under
"internal legal systems".

> but there would appear to be an eternally unmodifiable and hardcoded
> underlayer. An underlayer that you would trust to, e.g., prevent the Marquis
> de Sade from setting up a domain in which he can create sentient beings and
> torture them with no chance of escape

As I said elsewhere in that discussion, I don't propose to prevent the
Marquis de Sade from doing any such thing, because I don't know any
way to prevent such other than to hardwire a bill of rights into the
underlayer, and you have correctly pointed out the problems with that.
(Though I did suggest a minimum group size of 100 to create a domain,
partly to help discourage that sort of behavior.)

> because you would have correctly
> hardcoded an exit policy applicable to all adult sentient beings.
> Incidentally, who decides which domain a six-year-old orphan goes to? Please
> hardcode.

I have no legal authority to decide that, I'm afraid; you'll need to
ask the social services in whatever country or domain the orphan lives

- Russell

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