Re: Manhattan, Apollo and AI to the Singularity

From: Richard Loosemore (
Date: Thu Aug 24 2006 - 11:52:38 MDT

Keith Henson wrote:
> Manhattan took three approaches to building a bomb. Two of them worked
> and the third was known before they started that it would not work. I
> am not entirely sure why it was even tried.
> Apollo took one approach, Lunar Orbit Rendezvous and that worked. In
> both cases the physics was understood, it was mostly a project of
> engineering the hardware.
> The difference with an AI to Singularity project is that--as far as I
> know--nobody knows how to do it. (Correct me if I am wrong here.)
> I notice that a burn rate for money is proposed, not a total to complete
> the task.
> The only way I feel confident would work is to duplicate the functions
> of a human brain. At some level of fidelity you would get human level
> intelligence (along with less desirable features). But it is not
> obvious to me how such as being would reach into itself to make
> improvements any more than we can reach into our brains and tweek them.
> Keith Henson

I think that some people do have some clear ideas about how to do it.

With some exceptions, they have no serious funding.

None of them (with the possible exception of Hugo de Garis) believe that
the way to do it is to emulate a brain.

Please bear in mind that many aspects of how to do it are not discussed
on this list. Whatever the purpose of SL4 might be, any attempt to talk
about real technical issues gets immediately swamped by low-quality
noise and vitriol...... as a result of this you might think that there
is no serious technical work in existence (about the specific problem of
building a coordinated, complete AGI, including all the
motivational/moral/ethical aspects, and including considerations of
safety and friendliness).

This impression would be a mistake. To take just the issue of
friendliness, for example: there are approaches to this problem that
are powerful and viable, but because the list core does not agree with
them, you might think that they are not feasible, or outright dangerous
and irresponsible. This impression is a result of skewed opinions here,
not necessarily a reflection of the actual status of those approaches.

Richard Loosemore

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:57 MDT