RE: Top Ten Lists

From: Joseph Sterlynne (
Date: Thu Feb 10 2000 - 07:09:02 MST

>> Robert J. Bradbury
> Anders Sandberg

>> So if people want to send me "concise" questions of things that
>> even *we* don't know the answers to, perhaps we could organize
>> them, "vote" on their importance and then publish this on the
>> Web site.

>A good idea!

Yes, it is; or at least organizing topics and responses is. In fact I
almost suggested such a thing recently with regard to the singularity
concept. Since there are several scenarios, technologies, and expectations
connected with the notion it might be useful to state them clearly. Several
sites, though, do state the basic notions and the popular variants; the
details can be explored as separate topics.

In a discussion, though, it is useful to know the positions of the
participants. Yes, you observe their positions over time; but positions
change, subtly or otherwise, and they're not exactly all in one convenient
place. It can be useful not only for informing newcomers to the list but
also for clarifying general discussion. This is basically one of the things
mentioned in the "Debate Failure" posts last month.

>Is the development of a more capable form of intelligence in a given
>environment an easy or a hard problem? Are there limits in principe to what
>forms of intelligence a group of intelligent entities can produce? Are all
>forms of intelligent processing equivalent?

And more generally, what are the possible forms of intelligence? What is,
as Aaron Sloman has put it, the structure of the space of possible minds?
And more specifically, what are the possibilities and limitations of
development once a mind is uploaded (i.e., of a self-modifying and flexible
mind)? These are obviously profound questions (and not ones that we'll
solve casually here).

>Does the functionalist view of the mind hold (and hence uploading is

This is, I think, a matter of great concern which has not been completely
resolved. Debates such as those in the philosophy of mind literature must be
turned to this problem.

Some others?

Intellectual property/patents issues (previously discussed here).

The future of privacy and the technology involved.

Detailed design-ahead strategies for nanotech (development, security,

. . .

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