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Recent Comments

I think we're all out of our depth here. For example, do we have an agreed upon, precise definition of the word "sentient"? I don't think so.

I think that for now it is probably better to try to develop a rigorous understanding of concepts like consciousness, sentience, personhood and the reflectiv...(read more)

Given that i'm lying in bed with my iPhone commenting on this post, I'd say ray did ok.

His extrapolations of computer hardware seem to be pretty good.

His extrapolations of computer software are far too optimistic. He clearly made the mistake of vastly underestimating how much work our brains do ...(read more)

"Capitalist economists seem to like the idea of competition. It is the primary object of their study - if there were no comptition they would have to do some serious retraining."


I suspect that there are many people in this world who are, by their own standards, better off remaining deluded. I am not one if them; but I think you should qualify statements like "if a belief is false, you are better off knowing that it is false".

It is even possible that some overoptimistic tr...(read more)

@ carl: perhaps I should have checked through the literature more carefully. Can you point me to any other references on ethics using world-history utility functions with domain {world histories} ?

@ shane: I was specifically talking about utility functions from the set of states of the universe to the reals, not from spacetime histories. Using the latter notion, trivially every agent is a utility maximizer, because there is a canonical embedding of any set X (in this case the set of action-pe...(read more)

@ prase: well, we have to get our information from somewhere... Sure, past predictions of minor disasters due to scientific error are not in exactly the same league as this particular prediction. But where else are we to look?

@anders: interesting. So presumably you think that the evidence from cos...(read more)

Your probability estimate of the LHC destroying the world is too small. Given that at least some phycisists have come up with vaguely plausible mechanisms for stable micro black hole creation, you should think about outrageous or outspoken claims made in the past by a small minority of scientists. H...(read more)

Eli: I think that your analysis here, and the longer analysis presented in "knowability of FAI" misses a very important point. The singularity is a fundamentally different process than playing chess or building a saloon car. The important distinction is that in building a car, the car-maker's ontolo...(read more)

@ marcello, quasi-anonymous, manuel:

I should probably add that I am not in favor of using any brand new philosophical ideas - like the ones that I like to think about - to write the goal system of a seed AI. That would be far too dangerous. For this purpose, I think we should simply concentrate on...(read more)