Re: Anti-singularity spam.

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue May 02 2006 - 14:55:15 MDT

Bob Seidensticker wrote:
> For example, AGI has certainly proved
> a lot more tricky than we expected, given early successes.

Than *who* expected? More importantly, *based on what*? A scientific
prediction is not one that a famous scientist makes.

There were famous scientists who said that heavier-than-air flight was
impossible, but they did not do any actual math. They just verbalized
their instinctive reactions.

The Wright Brothers, in addition to having a bicycle business on the
side, were also competent physicists - they built a new experimental
instrument, the wind tunnel, to test their quantitative predictions, and
discovered a flaw in Smeaton's coefficient of air pressure, an
engineering constant which had then been used for 150 years.

The Wright Brothers did the math. The eminent scientists didn't do the
math. Moral: Science doesn't work unless you actually use it.

Now who was it that calculated quantitatively, based on previously
confirmed theories, how long it ought to take to build an AGI? And if
the one did not do this, but dared a prediction anyway, why are you
surprised that they were wrong?

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

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