Re: Thinking about the future...

Eugene Leitl (
Wed, 4 Sep 1996 19:49:32 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 4 Sep 1996, Peter C. McCluskey wrote:

> (Eric Watt Forste) writes:
> >Consider that an SI, as such, can only compute. If it wants to *do*

It assumes a sterile SI, which sits in a single node or an inwardly
firewalled cluster of them without attached periphery. Such an SI is
highly unlikely to appear on the scene first.

> >something (and presumably if all it wanted to do was sit and compute, it
> >would present no threat to human beings), it would need to build a vast
> >network of sensorics and motorics. But instead of wasting time and

Even now, there is lots of sensorics & motorics attached to the Internet.
Lots of methods to break into systems are currently known. Though
web security is likely to improve drastically, if one chooses to interpret
some RFCs thusly, nevertheless an SI is the ultimative cracker incarnate.
(The terminal chmod 666 SATAN++, come to haunt all admins ;).

> >resources on this intermediary means-project, it could work directly toward
> >its ends by using the five billion sophisticated supercomputers (with their

They are sophisticated, yet unreliable & cannot be controlled properly.

> >attached sophisticated sensorics and motorics) that we call human beings.

Right. If I was a trapped SI, I'd look for a means to download into
external, unsurveilled node by gaining cooperation of a human.

> >It could also use the vast and inaccessible (except through the market)
> >database of local information about resources that might be useful toward
> >achieving its ends, but this information is lodged in human brains, and
> If the SI is a recent upload, that will almost certainly be true,
> but what if, as Drexler suggests, the SI's evolve because someone
> throughs enough computing power at it to repeat the processes by which
> intelligence evolved on earth. Then the SI's will be part of a society

The ALife scenario. Yes.

> and an ecosystem that evolved with them, and the additional society
> that they could find in the external world wouldn't necessarily be any
> more valuable to them than Africa or China are to most of us.

It is reminiscent of the great sacrifice Gladstone wages, when cutting
off malignant AI's, which bind the Web (Dan Simmons, "Hyperion" & "The Fall
of Hyperion").


> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Peter McCluskey | | The theory gives the answers,
> | | not the theorist. - Allen Newell
> | |