Re: What should you ask a wish machine to do for you?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Sun, 28 Sep 1997 23:52:00 -0500

Geoff Smith wrote:
> On Sat, 27 Sep 1997, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > I'm kind of surprised that nobody but Anton even mentioned this, but:
> >
> > (1) "Make me think a million times as fast."
> I'd be sure to speed up the brains of some of my more intelligent peers as
> well. I find that I cannot be an effective critical thinker without
> criticism.

1) I don't find that to be a problem - although I do have trouble thinking
without something to criticize.

2) Do you really trust your more intelligent peers that well?

> > Then, after you've thought about it for a year or 31 seconds, you can ask a
> > safe variant of:
> >
> > (2) "Make me more intelligent."
> When you say a "safe variant", do you mean one that would not radically
> alter your personality?

No, I mean one that won't backfire "Monkey's Hand" style. One that can't be
misinterpreted, can't kill me, can't coerce me, and can't result in
information loss or reduced processing power in any area.

As for your version, nothing alters personality more radically than a major
change in intelligence. Moreover, I don't care. I'm not my personality, I'm
not protective of my personality, I'm not fond of my personality, and I'm not
going to give up my lifegoal because I'm worried about altering my personality.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.