Re: Singularity and AIs (was: We're stuck with each other)

From: Dan Clemmensen (
Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 17:26:11 MST

jeff davis wrote:

> --- Dan Clemmensen <> wrote:
>>Thanks to Microsoft there are a legion of vulnerable
>> computers. At a guess, there are more than 100 million
>> accessible, exploitable computers. The trick is to
>> discover the computers covertly in one pass, and then
>> grab them and start using them all at once, but still
>> covertly.
> Just one comment. All the experience with malicious
> hacking tends to color one's view--toward malicious
> and destructive--of an unauthorized "taking" of one's
> computer resources.

Yes. It does. Note that what I said make no mention of
"malicious" or "destructive." merely "covert."

> If a nascent software intelligence is hacking to
> obtain the value of use, and not the value--arising
> from human flakiness-- of distorted ego gratification,
> then covert use, or better yet, covert, benevolent,
> and protective use would not only be better from the
> ethical standpoint-- supportive cooperation-- but also
> from the practical standpoint that the user of the
> coopted resources, as a result of experiencing a more
> user-friendly computer experience, would tend to not
> merely turn a blind eye to the possibility that his
> computer had been "taken over", but would either "not
> notice" or approve of the new "sysop".
> In other words, evolving machine intelligence, where
> "evolving" implies self-optimization, might find it a
> fitness maximum to routinely optimize the individual
> elements--the coopted pc's--of its platform. The home
> user will observe that his computer is now running
> fast and flawless--and will not be asking why, or
> encouraging others to screw around with a good thing.

I originally considered asking for permission from each
user, or at least apologizing and offering to return the
system to its former state after using it. I also thought
of asking permission to optimize the system and install
better software as a payment for use of the system. However,
I don't think that a person or group using the web
to attempt to create an SI will initiate the takeover
until there is a reasonable chance of quick success, in
which case the point is moot, as the SI will make the decision.

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