Re: Genetically Modifying other Mammals to be as Smart as Us [WAS Re: Syllabus for Seed Developer Qualifications]

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Fri Feb 03 2006 - 09:55:26 MST

On 2/3/06, George Dvorsky <> wrote:
> Speculation about the potential differences between augmented humans and
> non-human animals is moot.

George, if you had said "ultimately moot", I might have accepted that,
however in a different sense than you intended, but in the immediate future,
comprehension of ethical issues involving agents with diverse viewpoints and
capabilities is becoming increasingly relevant in terms of effective social
decision-making impacting our quality of life and our prospects for
continued survival and development.

Uplifted intelligences, whether they are
> descended from humans, animals, or rocks, will, in a Lamarckian process,
> rapidly accelerate towards a common fitness peak.

When you include everything from humans to rocks in your uplift scenario and
suggest that they develop toward a common state of intelligence, I wonder if
you have thought deeply about about the role of diversity as a driver of
development. While I suspect you envision some form of ultimate
nirvana-like supreme intelligence, it seems to me that realistically, the
end state you describe corresponds to equilibrium and stagnation.

When you speak of a fitness peak, it must be relative to a given
environment, whether real or virtual. If "advanced intelligence"
corresponds with advanced capability to effect desired change within a given
environment, then I think you might consider that advanced intelligences can
be expected to differ with regard to their optimization for introspection or
exploration, service toward a particular cause, or generally expanding and
exploring branches of the ever widening space of possibilities.

> intelligences may retain vestiges of their pre-post-biological brain
> (much like we still retain the reptilian part of our brain), but that
> will ultimately be of no real consequence as all advanced intelligences
> will gravitate towards roughly the same mode of cognitive being.

What are your thoughts on the tendency of increasing intelligence to develop
increasingly diverse and creative solutions, in effect broadening the
possibility space of their "cognitive being"?

- Jef
Increasing awareness for increasing morality

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