Re: On Our Duty to Not Be Responsible for Artificial Minds

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sun Aug 14 2005 - 11:08:20 MDT

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> Occasionally, technological accidents, even the pursuit of pure science,
> have resulted in casualties (even civilian casualties). Madam Curie
> comes to mind, giving her friends samples of curious glowing radium.

This was in my memory, but I tried Googling it, and I didn't find any
documentation. Both Madam Curie and her husband Pierre did suffer severe
health effects from radiation (without realizing until much later what was
causing the problem). I cannot find documentation of the Curies giving their
friends samples, or of any ill-effects on the health of their friends.

It is an interesting question whether *pure* scientific research (not
associated with any engineering endeavor) has produced any *civilian*
(non-scientist) casualties since, say, 1900. One would expect so, but offhand
I don't know of any, excluding my apparent mismemory of the Curies.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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