RE: AI Prime Directive

Cen-IT Rob Harris (
Tue, 15 Sep 1998 16:32:31 +0100

wahey! I'm on a roll. - Rob.

> ----------
> From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky[]
> Sent: 15 September 1998 15:20
> To:
> Subject: Re: AI Prime Directive
> Cen-IT Rob Harris wrote:
> >
> > All this stuff assumes that human minds are an example of an
> objective
> > intelligence, and that any AI we create, will start to exhibit
> > human-style behaviour which we will have to keep in check with prime
> > directives. Why ?
> > If you don't program your AI to want or need anything, it won't do
> > anything spontaneously. So you just don't program into the system
> 'take
> > over the world and make robots to kill us all', and we'll be dandy.
> Yes! Exactly! The typical stereotype about AIs assume that they
> behave like
> repressed humans, which is typically the only analogy the hack writer
> has to
> emotionless things. Thus, also, the stereotype of eventual rebellion.
> But
> all of our rebellion/dominance emotions are the results of long years
> of
> evolution; they don't pop up spontaneously. If you don't program an
> emotion
> into an AI, it simply isn't there.
> I do have to point out one minor consequence of "If you don't program
> your AI
> to want or need anything, it won't do anything spontaneously." It
> won't do
> anything at all, internally or externally - not if you've designed it
> properly, so that making any choice requires a goal. If you add
> something
> that the AI does automatically, you've done the equivalent of punching
> a goal
> into the architecture, which is bad for the various aforesaid reasons.
> So the AI does need at least one nonzero goal, and it needs to have it
> in the
> initial state (because otherwise it won't have the will to reason it
> out), but
> the goal has to be an ordinary, justified, noncircular, reconsiderable
> goal
> that the AI could have come up with on its own. Inventing a goal like
> that is
> a nontrivial task; it takes considerable basic intelligence to
> represent the
> goal logic, much less verify it. If you have an initial goal that
> doesn't
> require much architecture to represent, the goal is almost certainly
> arbitrary.
> > Conciousness does not mean instant self-preservation instinct,
> > megalomania or psychosis. It's merely awareness......the things we
> feel
> > the need to do, think and say are specifically human, unrelated to
> the
> > fact that we are also sentient and intelligent.
> --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Disclaimer: Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
> everything I think I know.