RE: AI:This is how we do it

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Mon Feb 18 2002 - 07:24:28 MST

Anders Sandberg wrote,
> First, are we talking about people on this list or people discussing AI
> in general? If the first, then I would agree we should take into account
> concepts that has been extensively debated on this and related forums.
> But if we look at the whole field, we must be aware that our ideas have
> not been spread much and hence will not affect it. This is why I think
> it is essential for anybody who really wants the world to take their
> ideas into account to write publications that are published in the
> academic mainstream or at least somewhere where they will be read - no
> matter how brilliant one's ideas are, if they are forever relegated to a
> website hidden under a self-invented terminology they will not have much
> effect on other people's thinking. It goes not just for your AI ideas,
> but for transhumanism in general.
> In many AI architectures I don't know if its is meaningful or easy to
> speak about supergoals and subgoals, for example neural network based
> reinforcement learning agents where goals emerge and compete
> dynamically.


This is one problem I have had with your published material. When I have
asked AI experts at IBM to look at your stuff, they have no idea what you
are talking about. You have invented your own concepts and terminology from
scratch and are not in-step with the rest of the AI community. Although
this is not necessarily a bad thing, it does make it difficult to evaluate
your work. Most of the experts who look at your website and published stuff
just shrug their shoulders and walk away. I have not gotten any meaningful
evaluation from anyone. If experts can't figure out what you are doing, I
don't see how the lay-transhumanists can figure it out. I think that
documenting and sharing your ideas is probably your biggest problem with
getting funding or interest from other groups.

I would like to learn more about what you are doing, but it looks like I
will have to do it on my own and learn your language and concept from
scratch. It will not be possible to get assistance from other experts in
the field. It is very difficult to understand something where peer review,
common terminology, and cross referencing is not available. What do you
think of this situation? At the Extro-5 conference, you mentioned to me
that you are too busy to document your stuff to train new people to give you
more time so you won't be too busy anymore. I know that you probably have
thought about this problem extensively. I think Anders is exactly right,
that this problem faces many of our projects. We must get peer-review,
public availability, and common ground, or we will be resigned to work by
ourselves in our individual basements.

Harvey Newstrom, CISSP <>
Principal Security Consultant <>
Board Member <>
Cofounder <>
Member <>

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