Re: Investing in FAI research: now vs. later.

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Mon Feb 11 2008 - 15:52:05 MST

Why go to all the trouble of building an AI? Why not just build a
natural-language-understander that compiles English requests to
programs, and then type into the prompt, "Please make an AI"?

The English-to-program-compiler is hence AI-complete, meaning that if
you can build it, you can build an AI - hence you shouldn't expect it
to be any easier than AI.

Similarly, building an AI that knows what you "really mean" by
"Friendly" when you type "Please make a Friendly AI" at the prompt, is
FAI-complete, and not any easier than building a Friendly AI.

(I find that conversations of this sort have more the shade of someone
trying to figure out how to game the Dungeons and Dragons rules for
the wish spell, than AI science... remember, nothing ever runs on
English rules; even your brain doesn't run on English rules.)

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

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