Re: AI:This is how we do it

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 08:34:32 MST

>From: "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>

>Eugene Leitl wrote:
> >
> > On Wed, 13 Feb 2002, Zero Powers wrote:
> >
> > > While the networkable OS may not be conscious, who cares? As long as
> > > can perform as well (or better?) than the sentient Jupiter Brain some
> > > here are expecting.
> >
> > The network will not awaken, unless it is engineered to do so. Given the
> > sorry state of IT security the perversion potential is however
> > quantitative. With 1 GBit Ethernet being deployed and 10 GBit Ethernet
> > being designed the local bandwidth is slowly moving into interesting
> > orders of magnitude.
>To be precise, it requires an enormously higher amount of computing power
>the network to awaken accidentally than for us to waken it deliberately,
>latencies and small node sizes raise the bar even further.


>The point is that spontaneity
>just doesn't work. Spontaneous generation of AI on the Internet is like
>the spontaneous generation of mice from straw and dirty shirts, as I
>Pat Cadigan once observed. If you have a planet-sized mass of straw and
>shirts and you wait 850 million years it will happen, but genetically
>engineering mice would be a lot faster.

I agree with you both. I don't expect the net to spontaneously awaken. But
I don't think we need it to. The general consensus seems to be that AI
won't be AI until it is sentient. But, so long as it is capable of
autonomically meeting my needs, I don't want or need it to be sentient.
Personally I'd rather have an AI smart enough to do all the tasks I assign
to it yet dumb enough not to know its smarter than me, than a conscious,
sentient super-intelligence (that I have to hope is friendly enough not to
trump my wishes with its own).

After all, the Native Americans were friendly to the Europeans at first.
But friendliness faded eventually and what enabled the conquest of the
Americas was superior military technology and skill. Yep, give me the dumb
AI anyday.


"I'm a seeker too. But my dreams aren't like yours. I can't help thinking
that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man.
Has to be." -- George Taylor _Planet of the Apes_ (1968)

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