Re: Kurzweil's new Singularity/AI page

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu Mar 15 2001 - 10:49:16 MST

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> This points out that Kurzweil hasn't been reading our archives
> or doing proper net searches (otherwise he certainly would have
> run accross the discussions about the Matrioshka Brains). The
> part that doesn't make any sense is that he was at the start
> of my discussion at the Spring '99 Foresight SA meeting where
> I discussed the fundamental limits on intelligence. So he
> *should* be aware of the concepts and not be going off into
> flights of fantasy regarding worm-hole travel (No MAGIC PHYSICS!).

It looks to me like Kurzweil is pretty much exactly retracing my own
journey into the Singularity, and at this point in time, he's still
experiencing future shock circa Eliezer-1997 from the realization that the
laws of physics change with smartness - i.e., that we have no assurance
whatsoever that our generation is the first one to have the Final Word on
Physical Limits.

I no longer invoke magic physics (much), but that's because I have no need
to do so - everything I want to talk about can, if necessary, be phrased
as computronium. But that doesn't mean I think our current laws of
physics are final; it means that I've decided to avoid a non-useful
controversy. Kurzweil pointing out the possibility that our laws are
wrong constitutes neither ignorance nor stupidity on his part. Maybe he's
reading my archived posts instead of yours.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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