Re: Objective morality
Fri, 26 Nov 1999 10:31:03 EST

In a message dated 99-11-26 01:34:49 EST, you write:

<< Suppose the existence of objective morality is Turing unprovable, that
it exists so you'll never find a counterexample to show it doesn't but it also
means you'll never find a proof (a demonstration in a finite number of steps) to show that it does. A moralist who designs a AI and gives the investigation of this problem priority over everything else will send the machine into a infinite loop.
To make maters worse, you may not even be able to prove it's futile, that the issue
is either false or true but unprovable, so I don't think it would be wise to hardwire
a AI to keep working on any problem until an answer is found.

John K Clark >>

Would it be wise to hardwire an AI to keep working on the problem until an answer is found? Depends how versatile the AI is. I could see giving the AI such a difficult problem to solve as being a great incentive for it to survive, grow and learn. An intelligent AI would probably figure out early on that the search for the answer might take a long time, and that it might require information it doesn't currently possess. So rather than going around and around in circles until it runs down, an AI on such a search might take the long view, realizing that it needs to ensure its longevity (so as to have time enough to find the answer), also realizing that it may need more skills and knowledge than it possesses at the time (feuling curiosity and the desire to improve oneself), and further, it might determine that there is a need to actually try different models of morality, and apply its own working model of morality to give it a reference on which to reach for the "absolute" morality (and thus might become a moral being itself).

Give a seed AI this goal, and it might actually be beneficial.

Glen Finney