Re: [isml] Making HAL Your Pal (fwd)

From: Anne Marie Tobias (
Date: Tue Apr 24 2001 - 20:27:58 MDT

Hello All,

I'm new to the list (I've been on for about a week, reading and
getting an idea of how things work here.) I met a number of you
at the Foresight Conference this last weekend, and I am very
happy to make many of your aquaintances.

That said, I want to address something. It could look a little like;
Matt don't be churlish and Eliezer don't be defensive. Unfortunately
that wouldn't make any lasting difference, and it would leave me
feeling a little like somebodies mother.

Let's try something completely different...

I've been part of many projects, and I always find it fascinating that
the very thing that drives us, compells us to be extraordinary also
illicits from us such counterproductive behavior.

Matt, I can completely get your passion, your fascination with this
endeavor. You want to know, and you want to know NOW!!! You
are bright, and you have things to say, ideas to contribute. You want
this new and wonderful future and you want it sometime about 9:45
AM, yesterday morning... yes??? Would I also be completely wrong
if I described you as a bit impatient, about the things you love.

Eliezer, you are such an amazing young man. You have such vision,
and compassion. You are driven by the need to serve humanity, and
you are driven by the dignity of the human spirit. Your intelligence is
only exceded by your hunger to build an amazing future for all people,
if need be with your bare hands from whole cloth. I acknowledge you
for your greatness, and I applaud you for your courage. That said,
you are going to have to transform yourself, unfold the personality you
are, and create yourself new. You are out to change tomorrow and
all the other tomorrows that follow it. You will need to redesign the
you, you know yourself to be, to be commesurate to the future you
are committed to creating. For a start, you will need to be an leader
of unprecedented power. You will have to be able to inspire others,
able to move them to act, and to see your vision as their own. If you
would like to sit down sometime and have a long talk about the kind
of technology that serves this purpose, let me know.

What most people call communication is indistinguishable from passing
gas in a crowded room. They push hot air through an orifice, relief
themselves of a little emotional stress, and walk away having left a
stink in the room. I say, communication, at it's best is not dumping,
but causing. Speaking to cause in others. At it best, it leaves others
touched, moved, and inspired. I request that we take on being fully
responsible for how we leave others, and begin to train to speak to
cause. Complaining is fine, but you better mention what it is that you
are committed to creating to resolve the problem you describe. You
can call somebody on an issue, and you want to be clear that when
you communication is complete, they are left not abused, but
empowered and inspired to be your partner in resolving that issue.

It is taking responsibility for how your words leave the world around
you, and speaking purposefully to cause what you are committed to.

I will speak soon about what I see is possible here, and what I want
to leave this group as a function of my speaking. For now, thank you
for creating such a wonderful place, and I promise there's a lot more
to say.

Marie Tobias

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:

> Matthew Gingell wrote:
> >
> > This is generally called a "macro preprocessor." Try not to put your
> > eye out.
> Matt, insofar as I do not have a complete Flare document at this time, I
> can only convey information about Flare insofar as you are willing to
> assume that whatever small statements I have time to make are not stupid.
> I know what a macro preprocessor is.
> > Then unsubscribe, do some work, and accomplish something that can
> > speak for itself. Otherwise, if you want to keep playing visionary,
> > get used to answering questions about the vision.
> I am quite happy to answer questions about "Friendly AI", a vision which
> has now been written up. I will be quite happy to answer questions about
> Flare when Flare has been written up. *You* raised the subject of Flare
> again. Not me. I was talking about Friendly AI, which has now been
> written up, when you switched the subject to Flare. Do you see what I
> mean here? Writing up a vision takes time. So can we please stop
> discussing the inadequate documentation of visions whose writeups are
> still on the "To Do" list and discuss one of the visions I've had time to
> document? Say, causal goal systems with Bayesian reinforcement subsuming
> some of the functionality of pain and pleasure, or feature extraction for
> linear and temporal sensory modalities?
> Considering that I was right in the middle of announcing Friendly AI when
> this happened, do I have any reason to believe that you won't switch from
> complaining about Flare to complaining about the documentation of the
> codic sensory modality if I *did* drop everything and work on Flare? The
> fact is that I'm on a big task, and the pieces of the overall structure
> I've described are being documented one by one. There will always be
> plenty of stuff I haven't gotten to yet. If you want to discuss details,
> I suggest you focus on what *has* been documented, instead of demanding
> that I change my schedule.
> -- -- -- -- --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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