Re: Why invest in AGI?

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Fri Jan 20 2006 - 12:50:30 MST


I totally agree that AGI has a big potential to break through in the
next few years and provide immense profits as well as immense
scientific and humanitarian benefits. You are definitely preaching to
the converted in this regard!!

My point was a practical one: merely that nearly all business
investors are interested in investment opportunities with less
appearance of risk than AGI.

Essentially, where AGI is concerned, what is needed is *research
money*. Even for a project like Novamente, where we have a detailed
and theoretically grounded software design that we are progressively
implementing, there is *still* plenty of detail-level research to be
done to make it all work. Business funding for research projects is
hard to come by, unless (and even if) one can make a strong argument
regarding the profitability of incremental results as well as the end
goal. Not impossible of course -- just hard to come by.

In the case of Novamente I do believe we can make profits via software
systems embodying incremental progress toward our end goal of AGI (and
we are doing so now, to a limited extent). So I think Novamente makes
sense as a business opportunity even for fairly conventional investors
-- but that is because we have concrete plans re how to make money
from the incremental versions of our system along the path to general

-- Ben

On 1/21/06, Richard Loosemore <> wrote:
> My take on your question is slightly different than Ben's because I have
> different approach to the problem.
> My answer to "Why should I invest in AGI?":
> Because there is the potential for it to take off at a speed that would
> supply the investor with her own personal starship within a decade or two.
> Here is how.
> If the standard approach to AI turns out to have a Blind Spot Assumption
> built into it - an assumption that is glaringly obvious when you know
> it is there, but which otherwise is impossible to see - and if that
> BSA turns out to a crucial blockage that has stopped progress all this
> time, then we could open up the floodgates by dumping that assumption.
> At the risk of sounding like a wild optimist, I actually do believe that
> we are in this situation.
> We could build a learning system that acquires concepts through
> experience, and which also has the kind of motivation/emotion system
> that would make it completely (and reliably) benign, we could find
> ourselves surprised at how fast it could acquire knowledge and grow up
> into a superintelligent AGI.
> This is the core of my approach, and I think it will work. It is so
> radically different to the standard methods that, at the very least, it
> might not have the same drawbacks.
> [More soon: I am trying to corral my ideas into a website.]
> Richard Loosemore.
> H C wrote:
> > I have really seen hardly any discussion or exposition directly related
> > to the question of AGI investment, from a business standpoint (although
> > I think the AGIRI forum is a step in the right direction).
> >
> > Say today is your lucky day, and you sat down next a millionaire
> > businessman on the bus and he asked you "Why should I invest in AGI?".
> >
> > How would you respond? What makes a good response here? What are some
> > major things you would bring up in your answer?
> >
> >
> >

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