You seem to be under the impression that Eliezer is going to create an artificial general intelligence, and oversight is necessary to ensure that he doesn't create one which places his goals over humanity's interests. It is important, you say, that he is not allowed unchecked power. This is all fine, except for one very important fact that you've missed.

Eliezer Yudkowsky can't program. He's never published a nontrivial piece of software, and doesn't spend time coding. In the one way that matters, he's a muggle. Ineligible to write an AI. Eliezer has not po... (read more)

(For the record: I've programmed in C++, Python, Java, wrote some BASIC programs on a ZX80 when I was 5 or 6, and once very briefly when MacOS System 6 required it I wrote several lines of a program in 68K assembly. I admit I haven't done much coding recently, due to other comparative advantages beating that one out.)

1XiXiDu9yI disagree based on the following evidence: You further write: I'm not aware of any reason to believe that recursively self-improving artificial general intelligence is going to be something you can 'run away with'. It looks like some people here think so, that there will be some kind of, with hindsight, simple algorithm for intelligence that people can just run and get superhuman intelligence. Indeed, transparency could be very dangerous in that case. But that doesn't mean it is an all or nothing decision. There are many other reasons for transparency, including reassurance and the ability to discern a trickster or impotent individual from someone who deserves more money. But as I said, I don't see that anyway. It'll more likely be a blue sheet of different achievements that are each not dangerous on their own. I further think it will be not just a software solution but also a conceptual and computational revolution. In those cases an open approach will allow public oversight. And even if someone is going to run with it, you want them to use your solution rather than one that will most certainly be unfriendly.

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.