Interesting thought, I'll admit hadn't actually considered that (I have a general problem with being too trusting and not seeing ulterior motives, although I suspect most people really aren't very dishonest).

I can see a few reasons why others might not be asking:

1) Its unlikely to get an answer. There hasn't been a whole lot of willingness to respond to similar requests in the past, EY has a thing about not giving in to demands. This doesn't really explain why people are still donating.

2) The number of genuine Dr Evils in the world is very small. Historica... (read more)

A Brief Overview of Machine Ethics

by lukeprog 1 min read5th Mar 201191 comments


Earlier, I lamented that even though Eliezer named scholarship as one of the Twelve Virtues of Rationality, there is surprisingly little interest in (or citing of) the academic literature on some of Less Wrong's central discussion topics.

Previously, I provided an overview of formal epistemology, that field of philosophy that deals with (1) mathematically formalizing concepts related to induction, belief, choice, and action, and (2) arguing about the foundations of probability, statistics, game theory, decision theory, and algorithmic learning theory.

Now, I've written Machine Ethics is the Future, an introduction to machine ethics, the academic field that studies the problem of how to design artificial moral agents that act ethically (along with a few related problems). There, you will find PDFs of a dozen papers on the subject.