...for the FAI team part of SI's plans, that is. Of course we also engage in movement-building, academic outreach, etc.
comment by John_Maxwell (John_Maxwell_IV)
· score: 8 (8 votes) · LW
In theory it doesn't seem like you'd have to persuade them that FAI was the most important thing they could do with their life. Presumably there are a few young John Conways at Google, but I doubt any see Google as the most important thing they could do with their life. In other words, you might just need salary, visibility, and prestige comparable to current young John Conway employers.
For instance, what if there was an FAI research team affiliated with some prestigious university that was getting a moderate amount of positive press coverage?
comment by Bugmaster
· score: 3 (3 votes) · LW
As it happens, we recently have been seriously discussing doing one of the things you mention, but I shall not reveal which.
Why not ?
And it wouldn't be about the money per se, but about improving our ability to recruit the FAI team members we need.
As John_Maxwell_IV points out below, this is a problem you can solve with money.
More specifically, young John Conways would consider donating their talents to an organization for two primary reasons:
1). It's really really awesome, or
2). It's really really lucrative.
By "awesome", I don't mean something like "you get to shoot nerf guns at work !", but rather something like, "you get to solve interesting problems at the forefront of human knowledge", or "you get to improve the world in a significant way".
Approach #1 won't work for you, because so far the SIAI has not accomplished anything truly world-changing (or even discipline-changing); nor are you planning on accomplishing anything like that in the near future (at least, not publicly), preferring to focus instead on academic outreach, etc. Sure, you have plans to work on such things eventually, but you need to attract that John Conway now. Ideally, he might want to join you simply because he believes in the cause, but, as you said, the number of such people in the world may be 0.
So, you're left with option #2: money. Look at it this way: you're doing all that applied research already, why let it go to waste when you can use it to bootstrap your entire pipeline in record time ?
comment by Kevin
· score: 3 (3 votes) · LW
When #2 happens at SI, it doesn't look like SI making money. It looks more like Michael Vassar stepping down as President at Singularity Institute and hiring lots of rationalists to start a potentially very disruptive company.
If Personalized Medicine succeeds and becomes a multi-billion dollar company, it would almost definitely fund an FAI team. Which is great and not at all impossible or even unlikely, but it's not going to happen in record time.
comment by lukeprog
· score: 2 (2 votes) · LW
Eh, there's too much for me to explain, here. (Which is not to say you're wrong.)
I welcome you to pick up this thread again when I get around to discussing building an FAI team in this series.