Re: Why would AI want to be friendly?

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Mon Oct 02 2000 - 13:58:25 MDT

Barbara writes:

>Two days ago I posted a URL for a recent paper by a couple of people who
>are currently working in the AI field--"Cooperative Coevolution: An
>Architecture for Evolving Coadapted Subcomponents" by Mitchell A. Potter
>(Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence) and
>Kenneth A. DeJong (Computer Science Dept. George Mason University).
>Published in *Evolutionary Computation* 8(1) (2000)
> Has anyone else
>read Potter's and DeJong's paper?
Here again, is the URL Barbara posted:

Sorry Barbara, I missed it the first time around.

I got to some degree burnt out on the "the SI will squash us like bugs"
theme to the discussion, something I have never agreed with or understood,
except as some kind of odd dysfunctionality among the discussants. This is
the "Darwinian theory implies utter ruthlessness and mindless rapacious
relentless consumption of every atom in the universe at the maximum rate
possible" point of view. Gene is the leading proponent of this point of
view, but others tend to support it generally, though perhaps in a somewhat
less extreme form.

I support it not at all.

All systems are composed of vast numbers of individual components which
function simultaneously and interdependently. The dependent part of
interdependent is a consequence of the unavoidable nature of interaction.
If a thing existed in isolation, it could be independent. Otherwise, as it
has to rub shoulders with the rest of the universe, it has to adapt to that
"ecosystem", and that means cooperation, even cooperation in the seemingly
paradoxical form of competition.

The lion culls the old, weak, unlucky, and otherwise unfit individuals from
the wildebeast herd, thus keeping the herd strong. A strong herd
challenges the lion's ability to hunt successfully. Cooperation is the
rule, and unavoidable. Competition is a form of cooperation. Not the
apocolyptic evil of human anthropomorphic paranoia. The various components
of an ecosystem challenge each other, constantly adjusting their fitness to
a constantly changing environment, but, at the same time, continuously
exploring those completely novel fitness frontiers opened up by the most
recent emergent phenomena.

I would assert that as intelligence increases, so does the awareness of the
value of cooperation.

So remember, whatever may be debatable about the SI, this, it seems, is
solid: its going to be MORE intelligent, not less.

Ayn Rand notwithstanding, that's more INTELLIGENT, not more selfish.

(I was born a wiseass, but I aspire to become a superwiseass.) {;-)

PS. Barbara, I'll check out the Potter DeJong paper tonight.

                        Best, Jeff Davis

           "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                                        Ray Charles

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