Re: Syllabus for Seed Developer Qualifications [WAS Re: Some considerations about AGI]

From: P K (
Date: Sun Jan 29 2006 - 20:14:29 MST

There seems to be some talk about AGI programmers having to be good
learners. We seem to be forgetting one little detail; AGI hasn’t been
INVENTED yet. AGI programmers would have to invent AGI using new and
creative approaches. I agree that to invent new concepts, one would have to
understand the base on which on builds up on and this would require decent
learning skills however, that doesn’t mean they will be able to advance the
field one bit. My point is, a physics degree is not an indicator of AGI
programming potential. We should be looking for people making creative
breakthroughs (in technical fields, not fine arts creativity).

>From: Marieke Willis <>
>Subject: Re: Syllabus for Seed Developer Qualifications [WAS Re: Some
>considerations about AGI]
>Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 12:48:50 -0800 (PST)
>--- "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> wrote:
> > At the inaugural colloquium of the Redwood Neuroscience Institute,
> > there
> > was a discussion among some (major, prestigious) computational
> > neuroscientists about what kind of degree they'd most like to hire.
> > Some said neurology, some said electrical engineering, but then one
> > person said, "I'd rather have someone with a degree in physics,
> > because they can learn anything," and the rest nodded agreement.
>??? -People with a physics degree can learn anything, as opposed to
>people with a degree in neurology or ee? People with a physics degree
>can severely lack in memory, and in social/communication skills.
>Speaking of which, if I were you I'd emphasize the communication skills
>requirement more. Not the "you should be capable of communicating with
>anyone", but if you want to be part of a team you should be capable of
>communicating well with other members of the team. About technical
>things and about non-technical things. Because someone not being able
>to communicate his annoyance with one of the other team-members and the
>problem hence escalating could be real BAD. Having majored in
>Biomedical Science & Engineering, AI, EE, and Neuroscience at different
>universities for smaller and larger amounts of time makes it real
>obvious to me that in all of the areas you might find people from there
>are tons of people who are severely lacking in people skills (which
>doesn't mean that I wasn't/am not one of them).
> > The most
> > important requirement, obviously, is that the one be able to learn
> > anything. It is also indispensable that the one already be a math
> > talent, and have some experience programming, because there are some
> > things I'm not willing to bother teaching.
>I'd rather teach a brilliant person math/programming than teach them
>how to communicate, self-control, emotional stability, etc. That said,
>I agree that math/programming is extremely important. Now, a brilliant
>person should be capable of learning all the prerequisite
>math/programming on his own without much help from anyone, but that
>doesn't mean you should hire someone who doesn't meet those prereqs. I
>thought the article was alright, it said way too much obvious stuff for
>me, but knowing normal intelligent people I think that that's likely to
>be necessary.
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