Re: Collective Volition: Wanting vs Doing.

From: Michael Roy Ames (
Date: Sat Jun 12 2004 - 22:01:44 MDT


SIAI needs to have simple and clear explanations of its ideas, especially
the key ideas such as FAI and CV. These explanations are very important for
advocacy, as most potential contributors will not read the long and complex
details, but still want the "super-brief-executive-summaries". Easy
examples, use-cases, and scenarios and are good way to provide this.
Bearing that in mind, let me check my current understanding, and ask a
couple more questions.

Eliezer wrote:
> Whatever it is that you use, mentally, to consider any
> alternative to collective volition, anything that would
> be of itself friendlier - that's you, a human, making
> the decision; so now imagine that we take you and
> extrapolate you re-making that decision at a higher
> level of intelligence, knew more, thought faster, more
> the person etc.

This passage has cleared up some of my thinking on CV... I think. Let me
run a scenario by you and see:

The CV would be a *process* within FAI that could field specific questions,
like "what would the top 3 friendliest decisions (z1, z2, z3) about question
y1 given (x1, x2, x3)". Or perhaps: "Decide on the question (disarm all
nuclear weapons?) giving measures: distance, muddle, spread and coherence"
Is this the kind of process you envision CV to be?

If CV is a 'what would humanity decide' process then, okay, if it works then
it could answer the above types of questions with appropriate measures. My
question/answer would now be: Where would the original list of questions to
ask the CV come from?

I am presuming the original questions will be formulated by the Friendly AI
programmers... right? I imagine agenda-type questions first, then
decision-type question later? For example:

CV-Q1: "What questions need asking?"...
CV-Q2: "What problems need solving?"...
CV-Q24: "What is the #1 problem?"...
          [problems are formulated into questions]
CV-Q3093: "Decide on the #1 question"...

Obviously this is clunky example, but is this the sort of thing you envision
FAI doing with CV? If not, could you give us your guess at a 'bulleted'
sequence of events of how CV will be used?

Michael Roy Ames

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