Re: Failure of AI a prediction of Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age"

Anders Sandberg (
21 Dec 1998 19:00:54 +0100

"DELRIVIERE" <> writes:

> I hope that I am really open minded, I try, but to reject AI is just
> like to reject materialism to me. In this paradigm, we are the proof of
> concept of the possibility to build AI and we even have procedures to
> dot it every time, in huge numbers.... we make babies ;)... I can't
> reject my materialism and I am not willing to be open minded about that
> at all ;)

But that is a rather irrational position. Suppose somebody actually manages to come up with a convincing experimental proof for a non-material soul (I would really like to see the methods and equipment section of that paper! :-), which was then independently verified, elaborated and studied in the classical scientific fashion. Would you still reject this interpretation, even when there were good evidence for another position? Of course, one might have different views on what constitutes enough evidence to change one's mind, but beyond a certain point one is joining the Flat Earth Society and creationists.

This is important to remember for us transhumanists, since we put so much faith in some technologies that might actually never be done. If we stop being openminded about being wrong, even about our most cherished beliefs, we will become just like any other religion, cult or ideology.

BTW; the babay analog is spurious. It just shows that intelligence is possible, just as biology shows that physical law allows nanotech. It does not say we can necessarily build it.

> Anyway, if "soul" does exist then to be important to the consideration
> of AI it need to interact with matter that build us, if it interact with
> matter then it is part of physical reality, if it is part of physical
> reality then we probably just have to work our models more ;) Look at
> the nature, it's so easy to emerge sentient beings ;)
> I suppose that you have that in mind ?;)


Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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