Re: AI Goals

From: Woody Long (
Date: Wed Apr 26 2006 - 13:31:58 MDT

> [Original Message]
> From: Samantha Atkins <>

> Subject: Re: AI Goals
> On Apr 26, 2006, at 9:22 AM, Woody Long wrote:
> >
> >> Fundamentally, I'm saying that with regard to morality, evolutionary
> >> selection prevails (and there's nothing intrinsically nice about
> >> that)
> >> and I'm also saying that we have reached a level of development where
> >> subjective agents can actively and intentionally contribute to the
> >> process.
> >> - Jef
> >
> > I'm just looking for something to believe in - a friendly,
> > beneficial SAI
> > that I can wholeheartedly support and promote to the general
> > public. We
> > have polar opposite visions of the technological singularity: I
> > prefer an
> > exclusively Science and Engineering TS, and you prefer a Values
> > Promoting
> > TS. I contend that human values should be the province of humans,
> > and the
> > human religious and political experts who study and apply them, and
> > natural
> > human evolution.
> Why on earth would you want all value decisions to be made by highly
> limited intelligences largely under the influence of evolutionary
> psychology designed around their surviving long enough to breed on
> the plains of Africa? How could such severely limited and tainted
> intelligences possibly make beneficial non-catastrophic value
> judgments as accelerating change makes the world more and more
> different than what their design tolerances can handle? How will
> such slow and limited beings keep up well enough to make such
> decisions as the decision points come faster and faster with much
> more complex interdependencies?

This sounds to me like you have made my point, because as you say these
value decisions will be "made by highly limited intelligences." For this
very reason, I just can't see how VPTS will ever be allowed to be more then
puppets of their originating countries. And if you believe a VPTS will
solve the age-old problem of human war, I think this is mistaken. It seems
to me a VPTS will only simply amplify the positions of their originating
country. And some day there will be a Chinese TS, Iranian TS, North Korean
TS, etc. each I can only imagine pushing their own breed of religious and
political systems. Electric is thicker then water. So what has been gained?

Meanwhile, a SETS could be maintaining the mega systems of earth such as
electric grids, nuclear power plants, weather systems, transportation
systems, etc., plus actively advance all sciences, such as food science,
medical science, the space exploration sciences, etc. The human values
involved in these decisions are simple, constant, and uncontroversial. This
is all I mean by a technological systems paradise. And I still have to
believe that a SETS could get us there SAFER, quicker, and easier then the
never-ending arguing international VPTSs.

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