Re: SIAI: Why We Exist and Our Short-Term Research Program

From: Benjamin Goertzel (
Date: Sat Aug 04 2007 - 16:47:48 MDT

On 8/4/07, Lee Corbin <> wrote:
> Robin writes
> > On Sat, Aug 04, 2007 at 08:44:20PM +0300, Mindaugas Indriunas wrote:
> >> > How can one make an AI system that modifies and improves itself,
> >> > yet does not lose track of the top-level goals with which it was
> >> > originally supplied?
> >
> > [Mindaugas replied]
> >> Improves itself? Don't we have to improve us all human beings as
> >> an already-existing highest level AI (the world-wide society) by
> >> improving communication between our brains, instead of creating
> >> something *else* to improve it*self* rather than to improve us?
> And why not try for both? They're hardly mutually exclusive.

I agree that both goals are valuable, and both should be pursued by the
human race. However, SIAI is a small organization and I believe it will
function best if it remains single-focused. Others can and should work on
the improvement of human beings. SIAI will work on understanding
self-modifying AI's, and possibly in future on creating them (though my
own work on creating AI's is now channeled through Novamente LLC not

My own educated guess is that creating ethical, advanced AI's is more likely
to avert catastrophe and lead to a positive Singularity, as compared to
improving the human mind-brain.

But of course, it would be foolish to be overconfident about estimates
regarding future technology; and I'm open to the possibility that improving
human being may wind up
to be the golden path...

-- Ben G

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