I think one of the reasons is that the LW/SIAI crowd thinks all other people are below their standards.

"Below their standards" is a bad way to describe this situation, it suggests some kind of presumption of social superiority, while the actual problem is just that the things almost all researchers write presumably on this topic are not helpful. They are either considering a different problem (e.g. practical ways of making real near-future robots not kill wrong people, where it's perfectly reasonable to say that philosophy of consequentialism... (read more)

A point where SIAI makes visible and useful progress is in communicating the difficulty of the problem...

This is, in fact, the main goal of my book on the subject. Except, I'll do it in more detail, and spend more time citing the specific examples from the literature that are wrong. Eliezer has done some of this, but there's lots more to do.

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.