Re: Singularity awareness

From: Richard Loosemore (
Date: Fri Jun 02 2006 - 09:50:09 MDT

Mary Tobias wrote:
> Michael Vassar wrote:
>> I strongly agree. that knowledge of the singularity becoming public is
>> an existential risk, but I would worry more about a governmental race
>> to UFAI or to strong MNT as the mode of destruction. Oh yes, and the
>> possibility of fanatics killing those few people who could plausibly
>> enable FAI to happen first. I think that the singularity is already
>> too high profile for my tastes, though there is a trade-off between
>> awareness and the difficulty of recruiting FAI researchers.
> What of those who have trillions of dollars invested in the status quo,
> people with intrenched interests in having the world continue on exactly
> the way it's currently going? I am personally much more concerned that
> global governments and the industries that control them (and just to be
> clear, those interests are not pointed in the direction of the greater
> good or human advancement) are systematically shutting down the very
> structures required to take humanity to the next level. With the recent
> decision sealed by the new supreme court, Justice Alito espoused that
> "Government employees cannot expect the right, or to have ability to
> practice the First Amendment..." in effect government should be opaque
> to the public, and anyone who tries to penetrate that obfuscation,
> should be considered at least a security risk and possibly a terrorist.
> Before we can even begin to seriously address the critical conditions
> necessary to create any kind of transcendental AI or even a pervasive
> global technocracy, we may well first have to address the human
> propensity for totalitarianism, fascism, sociopathy, superstition and
> genocide. A world where only a tiny handful of obscenely weathy people,
> using the fruits of technology to enslave and control the greater masses
> will never achieve the end we envision or hope for... those in power
> will never allow a run-away intelligence to be born let alone exist.
> That would certainly be the beginning of the end of their control.


I have to add my voice to yours and say that I am also extremely
concerned about these factors.

I am not quite sure that they will play out in the way you specify, but
nevertheless the connection between what we want to get done, and what
the very powerful want to get done, is not discussed often enough.

Mostly, I worry less about them trying to stop it completely, as that
they might go into Headless Chicken mode and start acting towards it in
ways that ruin our chances of creating anything beneficial, or trying to
do it in stupid or dangerous ways, whilst saying in public that they,
like us, want to create a "better" world through technology.

And my bottom-line working assumption at the present time is this: my
experience of government and powerful business interests is that they
are so disorganized and so collectively unconscious that they are
effectively not there at the moment. The 64,000 left hands knoweth not
what the 64,000 right hands are doing.

As far as those folks are concerned, we are just a bunch of alchemists
banging on the door saying "Hey, we got a method for turning lead into
gold out here! Don't you want to hear about it?!"

Richard Loosemore.

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