Re: Matrix

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Fri Nov 10 2000 - 23:19:24 MST

Brian Atkins wrote:
> I still hold to the idea that the whole "human battery" thing is a cover
> story the AIs put out. Now why would they put out such a silly cover story
> unless they were actually in a pretty difficult situation right?

A cover story! Yes! Obviously, the whole thing is a cover story! Some agent
told it to a human and the humans just bought it! Okay, *that* makes sense.

> Well
> consider the possibility they aren't turing computable, and must run them-
> selves on human neurons via the pod people.

Try explaining THAT to an audience.

As long as we're talking about the cover-story hypothesis, a "failure of
Friendliness" seems the most likely explanation for the real reason. Why the
cover story? Perhaps the remnants of the old Asimov Laws hold the key to the
eventual defeat of the Matrix AIs...

Personally, I want to see four things in the sequels. I want to see good-guy
AIs; I want to see the Omnipotent Neo <tm> swear off shooting up rooms full of
policemen and maybe express some slight remorse for the first movie's body
count; I want to see someone say out loud that the real battle isn't about
humans vs. AIs but about moving on to higher technologies and continuing
humanity's sidetracked destiny; and I want to see Matrix 3 end with a

A lot may depend on whether the Wachowski Bros. have learned the lesson of
Terminator 2. If you want the sequel to top the original action movie, you
have to do it with philosophy.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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