IA projects (was IA vs. AI)

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (sentience@pobox.com)
Thu, 05 Aug 1999 17:01:40 -0500

(WAS: Re: IA vs. AI was: longevity vs singularity)

den Otter wrote:
> > Yes, I do have my "own" agenda, which involves using IA as a means to
> > AI. And if you'd like to start your own IA project, I'll be more than
> > happy to contribute advice, brain scans, genetic material, or anything
> > else you need.

Let me rephrase that: "Anything else you need that I have." In this case, what I have is a knowledge of the theory and the only known working sample. I'll spend as much time under an fMRI as required, I'll donate genes and (legal or moral) permission to grow a clone, and I'll be happy to share my knowledge of cognitive engineering. Furthermore, I'll keep the fact quiet. This is an open offer to anyone planning to run a neurohacking IA project, even people whose ethics I strongly disagree with - i.e. China, Saddam Hussein, den Otter - because the development of this technology is more important than who has it. The offer does not extend to non-neurohacking IA or non-enhancive neurohacking.

I'm not offering funding, of course, being 19.

> Are you serious about this? Well, ideally we'd have a project that
> aims to develop practical nanotech designs for things like escape
> craft, space habitats, food replicators, neurological enhancements,
> weapons and, last but not least, mind uploading. If you test it
> now in VR, that could save a lot of valuable time when the shit
> hits the fan.

I've actually given some thought to what could be accomplished by nanotechnology predevelopment. Ideally, what you want is a complete lunar colony design given one assembler, so that Zyvex can take off and have somewhere safe to hide and develop the rest of nanotechnology in peace. My impression, though, is that you need nanocomputers to do real, large-scale nanodesigns; preplanning at this point just isn't practical, and it wouldn't shorten the development time significantly. (And now I'm getting off the subject line. Oops.) Anyway, at this point I'm thinking of IA as being synonymous with neurohacking - that's the only project I've got a duty to volunteer for, anyway.

> Apart from this, we need to focus on non-nanotech
> (contemporary) means to achieve IA, and ways to get some
> serious funding. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear
> them.

I really don't think it's practically possible to run any of the do-it-yourself projects from _Algernon_. It would only take a few million dollars if you were willing to run it off the seat of one's pants and take casualties, and you could do it by modifying off-the-shelf technology. In fact, IA is probably the single easiest Singularity project to run, in strictly technological terms - the brain is resilient, the parts already exist and all you have to is shuffle them around, and there's that working sample. Unfortunately, it's so illegal that the Supreme Court would burst into flames, and running it in a Third-World country or as a secret would add considerably to costs. A pity.

> As a matter of fact, you've mentioned on several occasions that
> you have "thousands" of potentially lucrative ideas. I'm certainly
> interested in a relatively easy, low budget way to make lots of
> money. So, how about this: if you can give me something that
> works, I'll give you 50% of all profits.

Well, I certainly wouldn't give an idea like that away to someone inexperienced enough to think 50% is a fair share! 5% would be damned generous to someone who only came up with the idea, no matter how brilliant it was! Do you have any idea how much work it is to start a corporation, even a "relatively easy", "low budget" one?

If you're interested in entrepreneuring, I suggest checking out "Inc. Online" and "Red Herring". That's inc.com and redherring.com.

           sentience@pobox.com          Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way