Re: Who Owns The Singularity? (was: how shall the singularity takeoff?)

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Sun Dec 30 2001 - 13:51:30 MST

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:
> From: "Greg Burch" <>
> > I agree that if any company in the world has a motivation to fund such work,
> > it would be West; but your employer has been notoriously slow to adopt
> > technological innovation -- perhaps because of their long history of
> > monopoly.
> Monopoly tends to oppose technological innovation only to the extent that
> monopoly does not *need* technological innovation in order to continue to
> defend itself. For example, Microsoft (or some other company) could
> conceivably develop automated jurisprudence software, patent it, and have a
> monopoly. To defend that monopoly, Microsoft (or West Legal Group, MS Software
> Division) may then develop cutting-edge and innovative technology in the form
> of lawyer-bots and human-competitive expert systems that could win in court.
> So, would WLG want to bury the Singularity, or own it? I think they (or a
> borganized future group) are already well on the way to owning it.

As someone who works for them, I most emphatically disagree that WLG as
it stands today is any closer than we are to "owning" the Singularity.
They have zero concept of AI, their internal processes are still
extremely human-to-human - to the extent that it is a tough battle
simply getting them to commit to that most basic of engineering
requirements: written specifications, and their concerns are throughly
removed from the world of actual physical production except insofar as
it adds to the cost of printing stuff (so, no nanotech or other
materials development research is possible for them for now).

You forget: they think they own the law. The only defense they believe
they need is the legal system itself, and they believe they are
sufficiently defended by it against all comers, now and forever. (No
matter how good a lawyer is, when the law is clear and explicit on a
certain matter and the facts are known well enough, the outcome tends to
be predetermined. Which is kind of the point of laws.)

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