Re: AI at all costs. (Was thinking about the future)

Peter Voss (
Tue, 27 Aug 1996 16:27:56 -0700

At 02:09 PM 27/8/96 GMT2, Stephen de Vries wrote:

>As I see it, imortalists can be divided into two groups: those who
>want to live on through there current minds and/or bodies, and those
>who don`t care how the "I" fits into the picture as long as the
>descendants are "better" than the current version of "I".

You set up a false dichotomy. The first group does not want to live only
through their *current* minds and bodies. We want to transform them and to
add to them progressively so as to maintain identity in the process. We also
want to choose which aspects of our minds and bodies to retain and for how
long. You are right in saying that we care about our 'I's. Very much so!

>I lurch into the latter categorie, my loyalty lies with neg-entropy
>and complexity. Self sacrifice in the face of a humanity threatening
>AI is not part of this belief system, (self-sacrifice is never an
>option), but neither is standing in the way of developing a
>superior intelligent technology ("Artificial" and "Sinthetic" are
>emotively biased terms). People generally like the idea of growing
>bigger brains, as long as these are biological based and not anything
>as drastic as growing intelligences in a neural net (in-silico).

May I point out a contradiction ? 'I lurch...' Here you use 'I' in the
conventional sense - it cannot mean anything else. Then in 'self-sacrifice'
you refer to some kind of collective consciousness or evolutionary process.
You do indeed believe in self-sacrifice in the usual meaning of the word 'I'
and 'self'.

>"I" am not as small as my body + brain + mind, the only thing that is
>in essence me, is the "life force" which permeates all that is alive....
>The life force is all that I can recognize to be at the center of
>"me", so my loyalty lies with it, not my current body, mind or thoughts.

You confuse two quite separate concepts: 'I' and 'life'. You *are* alive,
you *have* 'life-force'(LF). 'You' are not equal to LF. Other entities also
have it. So even if you believe in some collective consciousness, nature or
LF then 'you' is a part of that and is not identical too it.

If your loyalty lies with the 'life-force', then that is indeed a very
fundamental difference to what some (most?) of us believe. I must regard
anyone who truly believes that I am less important than the 'life-force' ie.
that I can be sacrificed to it, as extremely dangerous. We *are* back to
altruism: sacrifice of self to a 'higher' good - God, religion, race,
country, nature, progress, etc. - Scary.