Re: DiscoveryCh - AI

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Mon Jan 22 2001 - 08:38:07 MST

"denis bider" <> writes:

> There has been a short snippet on Discovery Channel for some while,
> featuring someone who seems like an AI researcher, talking about how, some
> time in the future, the whole human race could be eliminated in a conflict
> with the AI. A very interesting piece - one of those short ones they show in
> between the programs.
> Is anyone familiar with this piece, and if so, who is that researcher that
> is featured in it? He seems somewhat European/Scandinavian, but I'm not
> sure...

He is named Hugo de Garis, and works with evolving neural networks on
cellular automaton hardware at Starlab. Very nice research with a high
gosh-factor, but I find his dire warnings irritating. While he does
understand the explosive potential of successful AI and that there
will indeed be strong tensions between different views of further
human/machine evolution, he does nothing to promote a reasoned
debate. In fact, he is promoting a simplistic YES!/NEVER! shouting
match - which is in a way a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bad academic
style, but a great way of getting into media.

The problem is that much of the discussion about the consequences of
AI is currently done by AI researchers, and they do not in general
know much about economics, social systems, philosophy and other
relevant fields. This makes it common to make simplistic statements,
and does not further help the discourse. An economist I know simply
laughed at Hans Moravec's ideas of taxation of AI corporations to
sustain humans in a wealthy state, for example. We need to see more
collaboration across the disciplines here.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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