RE: rambling question on AI

From: Colin Hales (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 16:05:09 MST

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of J. R. Molloy
> Sent: Tuesday, 8 January 2002 6:59 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: rambling question on AI
> As you say, there's no industrial quest for human-competitive
> AI, because the
> advent of such systems would throw the labor establishment
> into (unemployed)
> turmoil. Whoever owns the first human-competitive general
> intelligence robot,
> can soon own everything else.

The developmental history of AI appears to be a classic 'kill me and save
me' scenario. The Automation bogeyman (and I have been in axactly this field
for 20 years) didn't kill jobs - it a) Made any single individual a lot more
productive and b) Changed the nature of the jobs. The problem was in the
speed at which it occurred - people couldn't change that fast. Hence the
displacement and the resulting resentment. Those that adapted did well. I
have observed this in dozens of factories/businesses.

With this in mind and as an avowed "AI or bust" person I cogitate regularly
on the issue of impact - both sides - and I confess this is like
(Automation^^N) in it's impact and it scares me. For example: Computer
Programming. What's the 'big software project blowout's' overall solution
and the next programming language? The answer is _not to let humans program
anything_. There goes computer programming as a profession (I include myself
in this profession!).

I just hope that the speed of the change is moderated so that people are OK.
Sometimes I have nightmare visions of being ostracised at the local market
and having people throw rocks at my house out of the fear of the
(potentially) very smart little grey box in my office.

The original subject matter of the thread was about self financing with
spin-offs. I think I have to queue up with Eliezer on this...if your goal is
not really a 100% business goal then the diversionary nature of the business
process and politics associated with the creation of a spinoff are terribly

> Who will it be, and how long
> before religionists call him the Anti-Christ?

Like it or not it looks like I may have applied for the job (along with
Eliezer and others on the trail). I was born on the right day, too! (25/12)
Imagine the business card "Colin Hales, AntiChrist. Bring me your
anti-loaves and anti-fishes". Seriously - I am fearful and excited all at
once and have to remain true to the cause. There will be so many things that
will happen that no-one could even conceive of a-priori that I have to have
a kind of faith that it's going to be OK. Not easy, but OK. There are truly
huge potential cultural changes afoot.

Is it any wonder that VCs could see a marketing nightmare? How do you market
an Anti-Christ?. I think you don't. I've seen many a developmental paths
involving trojan horses and stealth, and I think this may have to be one of

Beware, fellow list, happily bantering with
you, a human? This is not a joke. The Turing test is for babies. It'll
happen, and sooner than you think.

That'll be all from me for a while.


* now where's that cash-cow gone? *

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:33 MST