Re: technophobes

Matt Gingell (
Thu, 21 Oct 1999 21:23:05 -0400

> So who's going to program the AI's with base motivations that
> involve concepts such as "dominance" and the wish to strive for it,
> then provide the necessary faculties/resources to do this? Not me or
> anyone sane, that's for sure.

The question of where an AI get's it's motivation is very interesting. Our primitive motivations are products of our evolutionary history: sex-drive, survival instinct, pleasure over pain, etc. None of these are essential to the nature of intelligence though and they won't necessarily have any correlate in an artificially engineered brain.

Eliezer's pointed out the incoherence of believing you can hard wire high level beliefs or motivations and I quite agree. You do get to specify what kind of feedback-inducing behavior gets reinforced or attenuated though. In humans, for instance, the weight we place on the sensation of being burned leads to behaviors like testing the temperature of the shower before jumping in, an so forth. Perhaps we guide the development of an Ai's value system in the same way.

Also note that there's no obvious bound to how complex we can make the reward/punishment system's criteria. We could even have an embedded limbic-system shaped conscience-Ai or similar that judges what's desirable and what's not then pokes accordingly.