RE: Eliezer's Seed AI concept

Billy Brown (
Thu, 3 Jun 1999 03:44:58 -0500

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky [] wrote:
> "O'Regan, Emlyn" wrote:
> > 1) Have you started trying to build this beast? If so, how's it going?
> To build that AI I need three things: Massive hardware backed by
> Internet-2 and a to pull it together; OpenSource
> volunteers with the ability to write a new kind of software; and the
> computer-community will to do it. I'm mostly working on (1) and (2).
> Which in turn requires that I shove the entire computing community in a
> certain direction, the direction of scalable software.

And in case that doesn't work out, I'm going the 'evil capitalistic software tycoon' route. I think there is a big competitive advantage to be had for a software company that invests intelligently in better development tools (especially AI-based techniques), and I can see a pretty clear family of development paths leading all the way from fairly simply stuff (~1,000 lines of code) to AI software much more complex than anything that currently exists (~10,000,000 lines of code). The high-end stuff would implement most of the functionality that Elisson needs, so building a seed AI at that point should prove feasible.

> Scalable software is software that gets qualitatively better, not just
> faster, when you give it more computing power. Deep Blue and EURISKO
> are scalable software, but for scalable software to keep Intel in the
> money (to pump out the hardware I need), scalable software has to get
> into word processors and accounting programs, and that means a new kind
> of software design.

I think you worry too much on this point. The migration from mainframes to minicomputers to microcomputers will keep the pressure on for another 15 years or so, and by that time we can expect robotics and VR to become significant factors. Both of those fields have much bigger processing power requirements that a seed AI.

Billy Brown