Questions and comments about Eliezer's Dec. 2 2013 Oxford speech

by NancyLebovitz 1 min read4th Dec 201351 comments

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Notes I took while listening to the speech:

Eliezer Yudkowsky on Friendly AI

If the human race is down to 1000 people, what are the odds that it will continue and do well? I realize this is a nitpick-- the argument would be the same if the human race were reduced to a million or ten million.

Suppose that a blind person in a first world country wants help paying for a guide dog and/or wants guide dogs for other blind people in first world countries, but has heard of effective altruism. What honest arguments could the blind person use?

If I were designing an intelligence, I'm not sure how much control I would give it over its own brain. People are already able to damage themselves pretty badly, even with the crude tools they've got. I would experiment with intelligent species to see how they'd behave with more control over their brains. What would you do?

Sidenote: Birds show some possibilities of making brains more efficient per weight.

TED talk about neurons and brains. This is not a great TED talk, but it's got somewhat about comparisons between brains in different species, in particular that neuron size and density varies between species. Comparisons of brain size tells you less than people assume.

Brains and competition aren't just about sexual selection: Females (especially) compete for resources to feed and care for themselves and their children. In some species, males also compete for resources for their children. Reproductive selection isn't just about mating selection. See Mother Nature by Sarah Hrdy. Interview about humans as cooperative breeders

Do we need to think about hardware, software, and firmware (at least) for brains, rather than just hardware and software?

[Sound cuts off at 38:00. comes back at 39:10]

How much of organisms consist of traits which aren't being selected for?

The sound quality deteriorates enough at about an hour that I'm giving up.

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