Re: What should you ask a wish machine to do for you?

Geoff Smith (
Wed, 1 Oct 1997 17:28:19 -0700 (PDT)

On Sun, 28 Sep 1997, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> > > I'm kind of surprised that nobody but Anton even mentioned this, but:
> > >
> > > (1) "Make me think a million times as fast."
> >
> > I'd be sure to speed up the brains of some of my more intelligent peers as
> > well. I find that I cannot be an effective critical thinker without
> > criticism.
> 1) I don't find that to be a problem - although I do have trouble thinking
> without something to criticize.

What about purely creative thinking, does this require something to

> 2) Do you really trust your more intelligent peers that well?

To provide criticism, yes.

To provide constructive criticism, not necessarily, but I can be the
judge of that.

> > > Then, after you've thought about it for a year or 31 seconds, you can ask a
> > > safe variant of:
> > >
> > > (2) "Make me more intelligent."
> >
> > When you say a "safe variant", do you mean one that would not radically
> > alter your personality?
> No, I mean one that won't backfire "Monkey's Hand" style. One that can't be
> misinterpreted, can't kill me, can't coerce me, and can't result in
> information loss or reduced processing power in any area.
> As for your version, nothing alters personality more radically than a major
> change in intelligence. Moreover, I don't care. I'm not my personality, I'm
> not protective of my personality, I'm not fond of my personality, and I'm not
> going to give up my lifegoal because I'm worried about altering my personality.

What are you protective of?

(not an accusing question, just a curious one)