Wiki Contributions


Ah, you might have caught right when we were updating links to davidad's program and re-uploading. It works for me now on Firefox, but please let me know if it doesn't work for you and we'll debug more.

I think it's worth noting that, in addition to boundaries where one might expect a single intuitive boundary to exist (like the above example of identifying human agents or consenting to tumor excision), there might be types of boundaries where one of multiple potential boundaries must be chosen via subjective preference (for instance, I think one could use boundaries to formalize property rights or the sovereignty of communities or municipalities, but in practice those are both initially constrained by culture, local laws, and/or customs, and therefore vary wildly).

Accounting for the potential of subjective boundaries has some nice properties:

  • You can still use boundaries if more than one intuitive emergent boundary definition can work.
  • It's easier to adapt boundaries to existing policy environments, which would facilitate deployment of an open agency architecture (i.e. you can simply build and deploy systems to match current legally protected boundaries, rather than needing to adjust or only enforce a subset of the norms/laws that can be derived objectively)

I wouldn't be surprised if workshop participants believe this is out of scope. My guess is that emergent optimal boundaries may be sufficient for all use cases related to the preservation of life, which might be all that are considered in the workshop, but I think it's pretty easy to think of corner cases where preferences are relevant to answer questions, like

  • "When does a fetus/baby get its own boundary?", or
  • "if bodily boundaries are based on the continuation of life/metabolism, is euthanasia always a boundary violation?", or
  • "what toxins and in what quantity can I feed someone before it's a boundary violation?" (Is the CO2 from my breath okay? A little ethanol? A lot? -- feels hard to come up with a single, universal compelling heuristic to me, but that probably speaks more to my limits than the solution space.)