Re: Singularity: Human AI to superhuman

Robin Hanson (
Fri, 11 Sep 1998 15:19:57 -0700

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky writes:
>> ... Discussions quickly fragment into an enumeration of possiblities, and
>> no one view is subject to enough critical analysis to really make progress.
>> I've tried to deal with this by focusing everyone's attention on the
>> opinions of the one person most associated with the word "singularity."
>> But success has been limited, as many prefer to talk about their own
>> concept of and analysis in support of "singularity".
>I don't see the problem. For debate to occur, Vinge's statements have to be
>fleshed out with a specific model using challengeable assumptions. As it
>stands, Vinge's paradigm - although correct - is too abstract to be analyzed
>for correctness or flaws. ...

The idea was to have Vinge here to flesh out and defend his claims. If he can't or won't, then I would be content to at least create a consensus that he hasn't supported his vision with a coherent analysis.

Your analysis seems to me to be based on unusual enough assumptions that it can't really stand for what Vinge probably meant, but didn't get around to saying. It also seems opaque enough that in discussing it, one spends more time trying to understand Eliezer's concept of singularity, rather than Vinge's.

>... what _you_ (Hanson) originally
>asked is whether the concept of a Singularity was flawed.

I asked about *Vinge's* singularity concept, exactly to avoid this elephant that becomes all things to all people.

Robin Hanson RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884 140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614