Re: Hiding AI research from Bad People was Re: OpenCog Concerns

From: J. Andrew Rogers (
Date: Mon Mar 24 2008 - 15:49:06 MDT

On Mar 24, 2008, at 1:49 PM, William Pearson wrote:
> On 24/03/2008, J. Andrew Rogers <> wrote:
>> This is essentially circular reasoning. DARPA et al have shown no
>> capacity whatsoever to discriminate between research that is
>> "manifestly on the right track to AI" and the thousands of dead ends
>> out there. To put it another way, if they *were* capable of making
>> meaningful discriminations, they would already know how to build AI
>> and they would not need your work.
> In many problems, it is a lot easier to see a path is right than to
> find a path. E.g. NP problems. AI might be one such.

How many AI bets has DARPA already placed? How many have produced AI?

Even if it is possible in theory to separate the wheat from the chaff,
there is ample evidence that the government possesses no such insight
nor has any faith in its own ability to discern such things as
evidenced by its shotgun method for selecting AI paths. They are
planning on being lucky rather than smart, because "being smart" has
failed them more times than they can count in this endeavor.

Organizations with a long-term entrenched interest in AI tend to be
thoroughly skeptical of AI research, and there is very little to
distinguish one AI theory/flavor from another. If you are worried
about the military taking the research early on, you should look at
this as a blessing; they will be certain that your research is full of
crap just like the hundreds of other research projects that never
produced anything of value beyond parlor tricks.

No one is so special that their crappy flavor of Yet Another AI
Project will attract any real interest from the Powers That Be until
the technology is sufficiently developed that it can distinguish
itself from all other AI projects by force of capability. At which
point, you have AI and the Powers That Be are a day late. The
government has better things to do than monitor thousands of AI cranks
just in case one of them does something interesting.

J. Andrew Rogers

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