In the previous video, you said that publishing in mainstream journals might be a waste of time, due to the amount of "post-production" involved. In addition, you said that SIAI would prefer to keep its AGI research secret -- otherwise, someone might read it, implement the un-Friendly AGI, and doom us all. You followed that up by saying that SIAI is more interested in "technical problems in mathematics, computer science, and philosophy" than in experimental AI research.

In light of the above, what does the SIAI actually do ? You don't submit your work to rigorous scrutiny by your peers in the field (you need peer review for that); you either aren't doing any AGI research, or are keeping it so secret that no one knows about it (which makes it impossible to gauge your progress, if any), and you aren't developing any practical applications of AI, either (since you'd need experimentation for that). So, what is it that you are actually working on, other than growing the SIAI itself ?


What is the point of having a Q&A if you avoid answering difficult questions like this?

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.