Re: Singularity Institute: Likely to win the race to build GAI?

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Feb 14 2006 - 10:57:19 MST

In fact I know of a number of individuals/groups in addition to myself
who fall into this category (significant progress made toward
realizing a software implementation whose design has apparent AGI
potential), though I'm not sure which of them are list members.

In addition to my Novamente project (, I would
mention Steve Omohundro

(who is working on a self-modifying AI system using his own variant of
Bayesian learning) and James Rogers with his
algorithmic-information-theory related AGI design (James is a list
member, but his work has been kept sufficiently proprietary that I
can't say much about it). There are many others as well...

Based on crude considerations, it would seem SIAI is nowhere near the
most advanced group on the path toward an AGI implementation. On the
other hand, it's of course possible that those of us who are "further
along" all have wrong ideas (though I doubt it!) and SIAI will come up
with the right idea in 2008 or whenever and then proceed rapidly
toward the end goal.


On 2/14/06, pdugan <> wrote:
> There is a certain list member who already has an AGI model more than half
> implemented, making it a few years from testablility to see if it classifies
> as a genuine AGI, and if so then maybe another half a decade before something
> like recursive self-improvement becomes possible.
> Patrick
> >===== Original Message From P K <> =====
> >>Yes, I know that they are working on _Friendly_ GAI. But my question is:
> >>What reason is there to think that the Institute has any real chance of
> >>winning the race to General Artificial Intelligence of any sort, beating
> >>out those thousands of very smart GAI researchers?
> >>
> >There is no particular reason(s) I can think of that make the Institute more
> >likely to develop AGI than any other organization with skilled developers.
> >It's all a fog. The only way to see if their ideas have any merit is to try
> >them out. Also, I suspect their donations would increase if they showed some
> >proofs of concept. It's all speculative at this point.
> >
> >As for predicting success or failure, the best calibrated answer is to
> >predict failure to anyone attempting to build a GAI. You would be right most
> >of the time and wrong probably only once or right all the time (o dear,
> >heresy).
> >
> >That doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. By analogy, think of AGI developers
> >as individual sperm trying to reach the egg. The odds of any individual are
> >incredibly small but the reward is so good it would be a shame not to try.
> >Also, FAI has to be developed only once for all to benefit.
> >
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