Re: The collective 'volition' project is abitrary and ideosyncratic

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Wed Jun 16 2004 - 02:36:15 MDT

Philip wrote:

>Just to make it clear, I personally don't want to be controlled by your
coercive collective 'volition' machine. If you insist on including all
'humans' in the extrapolation and the regime of coercion then I hereby
declare that (using your example of changing the use of words) I no
longer wish to be identified as a 'human'. I wish hereafter to be known
as a 'person'. :)

>I and any other 'people' I band together with, I'm sure, will be very
happy to cooperate with you and your 'humans' on projects to prevent
the world being turned into grey goo or any other such nasties, but any
relations that I and other 'people' have with your 'humans' will be have
to be based on negotiation and collaboration and not on coercion.
Should you try to exercise coercion, I and the other 'people' will resist.

>Can you see what I'm getting at?

>Cheers, Philip

To be fair to Eliezer:

Most of the world's population is currently being 'coerced' in one way
or another by war-lords, dictators, big government etc. You are being
'coerced' right now by your own government. I think Eliezer's point
was that he thinks his system would result in a far higher degree of
self-determination than currently exists in the world. But it is of
course unavoidable that any system involving group decisions has to
have some degree of coercion.

You are of course quite right that the moment success for Sing Inst's
project ever looks even remotely likely the U.S government will come
down on Sing Inst like a ton of bricks. To think other wise is to
display extreme naivety. Sooner or later the team will either have to
win over the support of the government or move to a more Libertarian
environment if they are to have any hope of completing the project
(New Hampshire? Outer Mongolia?)

If you have a look at the web-site of my own A.I Project you'll see I
don't mention anything about a 'Singularity'. What I'm claiming I'm
doing is developing software capable of mathematical reasoning ;)

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