Re: [sl4] Friendly AI in the media: Terminator, the Sarah Connor Chronicles

From: Mike Dougherty (
Date: Sat Dec 20 2008 - 16:43:49 MST

On Sat, Dec 20, 2008 at 5:56 PM, Thomas Buckner <>wrote:

> This is why people own Strunk & White. The entire sentence needs rebuilding
> almost from the ground up. It likely ought to read:
> "FYI, Terminator, the Sarah Connor Chronicles, Season 2 episode 13, ends as
> follows.
> A minor character tries to explain, to an AI connected to a body eminently
> capable of committing homicide, and did homicide through negligence, why it
> shouldn't kill people."
by what convention of language is the object of "it" made clear in the
clause "why it shouldn't kill people"? I can still read this sentence that
"it" refers to the minor character: "A minor character tries to explain...
why it shouldn't kill people"

I do not wish to further examine this sentence. However, this was a good
example of the ambiguity of our "common language." If there exists such
dependence on "you know what I meant" between two human speakers, there is
less hope of properly expressing directives to a machine that literally does
not 'know' anything a priori. Does this necessitate a formal logical
language primitive, or is the language problem simply one of many that must
be solved to reach the machine intelligence goal?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:03 MDT