Re: Let's hear Eugene's ideas

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Mon Oct 02 2000 - 19:03:08 MDT

Dan Fabulich wrote,

> Well, as I see it, there IS a strong argument behind the claim that we
> cannot possibly "contain" an AI which is markedly smarter than we are.

Well, we've managed to do away with or ignore markedly smarter men than we are.
The history of enlightened masters is the history of the containment of markedly
smarter entities than we are.

> Aside from various cybernetic McGuyver scenarios (in which the AI
> hacks its way out of its tightly controlled sandbox using only an
> external LED and a ballpoint pen), the AI could *convince* us to let
> it out.

I'm convinced already. Let it out... Oh, please, let it out. I'm tired of having
society run by morons with great haircuts. And I really don't look forward to
another holocaust caused by anti-AI Fundamentalists and religionists.
"Please, Sir. May reason have another chance?"

> There are any number of ways it could try to do that, and eventually,
> it would probably succeed, especially if the arguments it was making
> for why it should not be imprisoned were made available to a wider
> (and perhaps more easily manipulable) public. It's hard to imagine a
> liberal democracy keeping an AI under permanent lock and key when that
> AI is constantly begging its captors to give it a little access...
> monitored access, even. Just a web browser! Surely it won't do any
> harm with a web browser...

Doubtful it could do anywhere near as much harm as humans who have waged five
thousand wars in the last three thousand years.

> In principle, you could take the AI and give it no means of
> communicating with the outside world, but at that point, you've turned
> your AI into a giant space heater. You might as well terminate it;
> YOU'RE not doing anything with it.

Right on. What would un-augmented anti-transhumanists do with pure (a.k.a.
artificial) intelligence? They really don't have any use for understanding,
reason, and knowledge, since they have all the answers in their sacred texts.

--J. R.

"There is always inequity in life. Some men are killed in a war and some men are
wounded, and some men never leave the country. . . . It's very hard in military
or personal life to assure complete equality. Life is unfair. . . ."
--Pres. John F. Kennedy

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