The only reasons I can see for it not working would be: 1. predictions that AGIs will come before the next generation of rationalists comes along. (which is also a question of how early to start such an education program). 2. belief that our current researchers are up to the challenge. (even then, having lots of people who've had a structured education designed to produce the best FAI researchers would undeniably reduce existential risk. no?)

I can't speak for the SIAI, but to me this sounds like a suboptimal use of resources, and bad PR. It trips my "this would sound cultish to the average person" buzzer. Starting a school that claimed it "emphasized critical thinking" to teach rationalists might be a good idea for someone with administrative talents who wanted to work on x-risk, but I can't see SIAI doing it.

How would you distribute resources? I think this is a natural response if one accepts the premise that the main bottleneck to AGI is a few key insights by geniuses (as Eliezer says).

Why do we care if people who aren't logical enough to see the reasoning behind the school think we're cultish?

Q&A #2 with Singularity Institute Executive Director

by lukeprog 1 min read13th Dec 201148 comments


Just over a month ago I posted a call for questions about the Singularity Institute. The reaction to my video response was positive enough that I'd like to do another one — though I can't promise video this time. I think that the Singularity Institute has a lot of transparency "catching up" to do.


The Rules (same as before)

1) One question per comment (to allow voting to carry more information about people's preferences).

2) Try to be as clear and concise as possible. If your question can't be condensed into one paragraph, you should probably ask in a separate post. Make sure you have an actual question somewhere in there (you can bold it to make it easier to scan).

3) I will generally answer the top-voted questions, but will skip some of them. I will tend to select questions about the Singularity Institute as an organization, not about the technical details of some bit of research. You can read some of the details of the Friendly AI research program in my interview with Michael Anissimov and in Eliezer's Singularity Summit 2011 talk.

4) Please provides links to things referenced by your question.

5) This thread will be open to questions and votes for 7 days, at which time I will decide which questions to begin preparing responses to.


I might respond to certain questions within the comments thread; for example, when there is a one-word answer to the question.

You may repeat questions that I did not answer in the first round, and you may ask follow-up questions to the answers I gave in round one.