Re: Singularity Consortium Inquiry

From: Max Comess (
Date: Fri May 03 2002 - 03:22:40 MDT

It's not really about a website itself becoming self aware. It's about
making those who use it aware. That is the whole point of IA. Friendliness
and morality would be designed into ultimately resulting Real AI's because
these principles would become a part of the collective intelligence of this
website, which would of course include the Singularity Institute and other
institutions like it. I just want to see all these different groups' effort
being channeled in the most effective way possible, in the most direct way
possible, toward the singularity. If Pflop level computers exist and IA
exists then I think that we can, and should, finally get off our collective
butts and make it happen as soon as possible.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Anissimov" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2002 11:20 AM
Subject: Singularity Consortium Inquiry

> Hullo, I'm Michael Anissimov, a Singularitarian, and I saw your post to
> the SL4 list about a "Singularity Consortium" website. It sounds like
> an interesting idea, even a great one, except for one part. We
> probably wouldn't want a website to "take off and become self-aware"
> without the human moral frame of reference. Meaning, morality doesn't
> come from nowhere; it's a set of complex functional adapations that we
> all have in common as humans, and must be explicitly programmed in to
> yield morality. Before you go off trying to create sentience in a
> website, I suggest you read Eliezer Yudkowsky's "Creating Friendly AI".
> Maybe it's better not to approach this saying "we are going to make a
> big new website, get all the Real AI companies involved, get tons of
> people involved, and initiate the Singularity". Maybe it would be
> better to say "*I* (not "we") am starting on a project to network
> existing Singularitarians, spread the Singularity meme, and learn more
> about AI in the process". Keep in mind that Cyc is not an AI, it's not
> even close to one. Cyc is a knowledge base, a bunch of phrases that
> humans would notice when talking to other humans - it doesn't have the
> underlying cognitive complexity that humans use for general
> intelligence in the first place. and are the
> only serious projects to create Real, self-improving, *Friendly* AI,
> and I think rather than going off in your own direction in a tangent,
> like how so many would-be Singularitarians are doing, such as the
> amygdala (sp) project, we should all focus on the big effort which is
> already there - what the Singularity Institute is doing.
> I suggest calming down ever so slightly, reading the "Singularitarian
> Principles", read some of what Eliezer has wrote on Singularity-
> initiating AI, and then approach this project carefully and
> calculatedly. We wouldn't *want* a website to obtain sentience. But a
> website like the one you are proposing could do wonders for giving the
> Singularitarian community publicity, perhaps attract funding, and
> attract a lot of potential new Singularitarians. In fact, if this is
> your goal, then I'd be happy to help you on developing your project.
> I'd appreciate if you'd respond with the present outline of your
> project, and whose attention you've attracted so far.
> Yours in Singularity,
> Michael Anissimov
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