I agree that detailed exploration of Singularity strategies would alienate some LW-ers, and some SingInst-ers.

From a public relations viewpoint this sentence alone is worse than any particular detail could possible be.

No, I don't agree with this. I predict that whatever strategies AnnaSalamon has in mind would alienate someone unless those strategies were very anodyne or vague. If the sample of listeners is big enough there will usually be someone to take issue with just about any idea one voices.

Because it not only allows, but forces people to imagine what horrible strategies you could possible explore and pursue.

How true is that? In my case it just makes me try to imagine whether there are any strategies AnnaSalamon could propose that wouldn't perturb anyone. When it comes to the singularity I draw a blank, as it's a big enough issue that just about anything she or I or you could say about it will bother somebody.

I disagree that AS's weak statement that "detailed exploration of Singularity strategies would alienate some LW-ers" tells you very much at all about the nature of those strategies. I expect most conceivable strategies would piss someone off, so I'd say her claim communicates less than 1 bit of information about those strategies.

Based on the rest of your comment I think you've read AnnaSalamon's statement as one implying that SI's strategies are unusually objectionable or alienating; maybe that's what she meant but it doesn't seem to be what she wrote.

Based on the rest of your comment I think you've read AnnaSalamon's statement as one implying that SI's strategies are unusually objectionable or alienating;

Which is the right strategy. Humans are unfriendly. The group around AnnaSalamon is trying to take over and shape the universe according to their idea of what is right and good.

If you are making decisions based on the worst case scenario - as you are clearly doing when it comes to artificial intelligence, if you support friendly AI research - then you should do the same when it comes to human being... (read more)

Q&A with new Executive Director of Singularity Institute

by lukeprog 1 min read7th Nov 2011182 comments


Today I was appointed the new Executive Director of Singularity Institute.

Because I care about transparency, one of my first projects as an intern was to begin work on the organization's first Strategic Plan. I researched how to write a strategic plan, tracked down the strategic plans of similar organizations, and met with each staff member, progressively iterating the document until it was something everyone could get behind.

I quickly learned why there isn't more of this kind of thing: transparency is a lot of work! 100+ hours of work later, plus dozens of hours from others, and the strategic plan was finally finished and ratified by the board. It doesn't accomplish much by itself, but it's one important stepping stone in building an organization that is more productive, more trusted, and more likely to help solve the world's biggest problems.

I spent two months as a researcher, and was then appointed Executive Director.

In further pursuit of transparency, I'd like to answer (on video) submitted questions from the Less Wrong community just as Eliezer did two years ago.


The Rules

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 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.

4) If you reference certain things that are online in your question, provide a link.

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


I might respond to certain questions within the comments thread and not on video; for example, when there is a one-word answer.