Re: SIAI: Donate Today and Tomorrow

From: J. Andrew Rogers (
Date: Sat Oct 23 2004 - 12:42:40 MDT

On Oct 22, 2004, at 7:15 AM, Aikin, Robert wrote:
> If AI were a horserace, the smart money would seem to be on Ray
> Kurzweil (but there is something odd about EY that makes him
> interesting to watch).

If you think that, then you should probably stay away from the

The world of AGI is plagued by being what is almost purely a contest of
personalities in the eyes of the population at large, to the extent
that the population at large pays attention at all. Comparing
personalities and nebulous reputations in other fields is not a
substantial basis for deciding which team will most likely solve what
is otherwise a really difficult engineering, technology, and math
problem. Personality and warm fuzzies are great for marketing, but no
amount of marketing overcomes a lack of product in the final calculus.

This is also why millionaires don't jump in and fund popular existing
projects. Most of them fund their own tangent precisely because there
is a serious lack of perceivable comparative substance between the
existing projects, regardless of nominal popularity, and choose to
either sit out (not knowing enough to start their own project) or fork
a new project that at least they will perceive as having some

Until there are obviously substantive ventures, the smart money won't
be betting at all.

j. andrew rogers

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