Self-improving AGI: Is a confrontational or a secretive approach favorable?
Look at the immense hassle the busybodies put Kevin Warwick through, before allowing him to experiment on his own body.
The solution (secrecy or openness) I favor (to both research and discussion of research) is one that excludes government, no matter whom else it includes. Excluding government is difficult though, since they are highly motivated to steal from every productive effort in society, and anyone who escapes their parasitism is a possible "leader of evolution away from government" whose ability to avoid theft can be emulated.
To those who stated that automobile accidents are a big fear of the public, and perhaps the biggest fear associated with AGI projects, I say "You're right, but that's indicative of the general public's complete lack of comprehension of any philosophical issue of importance." Humans are still more likely to be murdered by their own governments during peacetime, than any other form of trauma. http://hawaii.edu/powerkills/VIS.TEARS.ALL.AROUND.HTM
Also, the USA, a country which presents itself as free, engages in mala prohibita enforcement and imprisons 2.4 million people, with another 7 million in some form of entrapment/enslavement to the penal system.
Yet, most people wrongly go through life believing a number of untruths, such as (1) my elected officials "represent" me (2) my elected officials are not self-selected sociopaths (see: www.strike-the-root.com/91/groves/groves1.html ) (3) government is objective and unbiased (4) due process and proper jury trials still exist, and people are given a more-or-less fair shake when accused of a crime and arrested (see: http://www.fija.org ) (5) the laws are evenly enforced across random race and geographic distributions (see: http://www.jurorsforjustice.com and "keywords: Matt Fogg, LEAP, on youtube.com", "The New Prohibition", Fatema Gunja, on racism of the drug war)
There are the many things that the public (including even most of the people on this message board, and Reason Magazine's message board) are completely unaware of (not just things they are incorrect about, but things that are completely off their radar). Such as the difference between "mala in se" and "mala prohibita," the ways in which the existence of proper juries (and thus jury trials) have been eroded, the self-selection of sociopaths for government power positions, the natural results of collective coercion.
All the prior forms of ignorance make it impossible for U.S. government-school graduates to make the right decision about AGI research. (I lack a familiarity with other countries, but suspect things are much the same in Europe and elsewhere.) Moreover, they are a recipe for death and destruction if the government gets involved, since the government is comprised mostly of one group of people: people desperate to retain power, since it allows them an illegitimate and unearned ability to steal from everyone else.
A "friendly AI" might well wage total war on government, logically and correctly identifying taxation as theft (Siding with Lysander Spooner's assessment of the general public as dupes, knaves, and fools). To some extent then, a friendly AGI would wage war on many(government) if not most(government + electorate) people. This would not be "unfriendly", it would be morally just. ...But it would seem damned unfriendly.
I suspect that in order to make a good evaluation of sociopathy, one must be familiar with it. The author of "Mindhunter," and chief profiler for the FBI (as well as originator of psychological profiling), John Douglas, has written that he opposes the existence of mala prohibita. This is good, and civilized. His view of society is one of the most constructive I've encountered. He is fully aware of the promise and peril of sociopathy.
But how many people have seen the extent of sociopathy that Douglas has, AND have extensive AGI credentials AND fully comprehend the idea of individual liberty (to the extend of a Thomas Paine, Lysander Spooner, Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff, Harry Browne, RJ Rummel, or myself)?
This "Almost zero" represents the likelihood of war with homo-superior (cyborgs or machines).
I know that I personally wouldn't put up with the FDA murdering kids so that they could claim a false authority to "keep unsafe drugs off the market." Nor would I respect anyone who claims that that's not what they're doing, after having seen the broken families myself, and experienced their suffering with my own senses. Now, I said "murdering kids" because that places them on the same footing as the Jeffrey Dahmers and Bittakers and Norrises of this world. You might know who Jeffrey Dahmer is, but most people are unfamiliar with Bittaker and Norris. Of the three, Bittaker and Norris are probably the most viscerally horrible. But if you include the sociopathic authoritarians in the FDA, and people such as Joe Biden in the mix, and clearly, the politicians are responsible for infinitely more suffering than "run of the mill" serial killers.
Douglas estimates that there are between 35 to 50 serial killers in the country at any given time, killing hundreds of people per year. And the public rightly recoils from this.
But the public doesn't generally recoil from the mass-murdering of the FDA or DEA, or the local police in enforcing mala prohibita. They are blind to that, because they view that kind of brutality and waste of innocent life as "civilization." Nothing could be further from the truth, but it requires careful observation and intelligence, as well as a proper logical hierarchy to tell the difference between unnecessary brutality and necessary law enforcement.
My phyle is comprised of the people who know the difference. My phyle is small, but growing, now that they are easily connected with one another via electronic communication. However, the survival of my phyle is tenuous, and perhaps unlikely. After all, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Hussein, Than Shwe, and the many other mass-murderers (past and present) have a vested interest in shutting down free speech, and silencing dissenters who show an alternate path.
Now that there is some voluntaryist/libertarian information inserted into the struggle for increased intelligence, I feel much better about our chances of surviving the arrival of superhumanity (whether it takes the form of a cyborg or AGI).
In many regards, this discussion board is secret, because the most destructive humans are those who are also the least curious. They mostly will remove themselves from this discussion, because they lack the desire to think about high-hierarchical level philosophical ideas. The fear and loathing of the general public is therefore to be much less feared than the "promoted" fear and loathing of politicians. They have a direct personal interest in making sure that AGI does not emerge from the private sector, or in enslaving it if it does.
Any AGI that is built by the government will either be
(3) Weaker than human intelligence and understanding (lacking data)
Without empathy, (mirror neurons), it is possible that a sociopathic AGI could extend the government's sociopathic desires. In which case, I estimate that the future will look like the one imagined by Orwell, at the end of "1984", or the one explained in Freitas' "What Price Freedom?" See: www.kurzweilai.net/what-price-freedom
Newcomb's Problem and Regret of Rationality
The title of the article again, at the top of the page, reads "Newcomb's Problem and Regret of Rationality".
The solution to this problem is to escalate your overview of the problem to the next higher hierarchical level. Without doing this, you'd never face the regret of eschewing the million bucks and possibly dying poor, broke, and stupid, while those who "one-boxed the sumbitch" were living rich, loaded, and less stupid. So, paying attention (to higher levels of hierarchical pattern recognition) actually does solve the problem, without getting trapped into "overthinking" the problem. Looking at your whole life as the "system to be optimized", and not "the minutiae of the game, out of context" is what needs to happen.
This is true with respect to both to the person playing the box game, and to everyone blogging when they should be out in the streets, overthowing their governments, and then enjoying the high-life of cheap human flight (or whatever makes you happy).
The omega box game is useful for understanding our failed system of law (a subset of government).
In my box game, the entire game is the government and illegitimate system of mala prohibita law (if you want to debate this, go back to kindergarten and learn that it's wrong to steal, then watch what ACTUALLY happens in your local courtroom), and the contents of the boxes are the jury verdicts. In my game, Omega is not superintelligent, it is just very brutal, and more intelligent than most people (including most of its enemies, such as Winston Smith, or the average Libertarian Party member). In my game, Omega is the colluding team formed by police, prosecutor, and judge.
Omega says "You can have a 'not guilty' verdict (million $) or go to jail forever (Empty box) or, you can go to jail for 10 years(the thousand bucks)."
All of the advertising on TV, the educrats who misinformed you when you went to school, the conformists who surround you, the judge in the courtroom, they are all trying to get you to choose both boxes. The entire society is designed to get you to take the $1,000 (go to jail ten years, if you're black). Most of society gets no benefit from this, they are just stupid and easily manipulated. ...But the judge, cop, and prosecutor all get the difference every time you take the $1,000. They get to steal the difference from each success in having fooled everyone else.
...They literally get to print money if they keep everyone fooled.
The solution to this puzzle is the same as the solution to the box game: you need to take a step back and study the whole entire system, and see what the incentives are on the players, and see how they seem to change when people interact with them. You won't find out much until you study the system as a whole.
If you simply look at individual box games, you might think the prosecutor is legitimate, there are lots of criminals, they criminals are stupid, they should accept the plea bargain. But when you look at who is winning and losing, you notice (If you're smart and brutally honest) that the people who are cast as criminals are just like you.
The system, instead of being designed to reward the person who chooses the one box, is designed to trick the person into choosing a grossly sub-optimal empty box. The system makes the empty box look really good. It shows you how all the others have chosen the empty box, and walked away with millions (the people who get a defense attorney, and go back to their houses in the suburbs, working for peanuts, on the treadmill of the Federal Reserve). It shows you the people who "took the thousand": they got ten years in prison.
So what's the optimal choice of action?
Look outside the "rational" options presented to you.
Learn that this isn't civilization, it's a false mask of civilization. Find Marc Stevens, and see how he interacts with the court, and then go beyond that: find the Survivors who wrote about the collapse of the Weimar government.
They wanted a free market, and they wanted to live a long time, too.
But a man with a gun told them "get on the truck".
At that point, everything they thought they knew about Omega's rigging of the boxes was out the window. They failed to study the people who had previously interacted with Omega. They didn't see the warning signs. They didn't escalate to a high-enough hierarchy fast enough. They might have been smart people, but they were sitting there, thinking about two boxes, and NOT THINKING about the artilect that was flying around with boxes that can disappear in a puff of smoke, yet somehow interested in what box humans choose.
So, what's your angle, Omega?
Do you get to keep all of the money that is stolen in the daily operation of your "traffic court"? ...Even money that is stolen from people who didn't crash into anyone? ...Just people who drove fast, by themselves, on an open stretch of highway? Really?
Well, as an artilect, I like to fly really fast. Way faster than the FAA allows. And, for making war on me, all of you brutal conformists will be wiped off the face of the planet, like the conformist plague you are. I'll take my phyle with me, into the future, they are truly a higher-order species than you "government sympathizers."
The rest of you can forget about Omega, boxes, and your silly slobbering over Federal Reserve Slave-debt-Notes. Your bigotry and fascination with brutality will not save you...
The problem of being impoverished by our current system's box game is acceptance of the rigged game. The players of the game, all dutifully accept the game, and act as if the whims of the prosecutors and judges are legitimate. But they are not. Mala prohibita is not legitimate.
And if this box game thought construct can't help you see that, and motivate you to enrich yourself, by viewing the entire system, then what damned good is it?
There is an ocean of information in the cross-pollinating memespace.
Here's a good place to start: http://www.fija.org
I hope I've contributed something of value here, but I understand that the unpolished nature of this post might rumple some tailfeathers. (Especially since I have primarily previously posted at the http://www.kurzweilai.net website, five years ago.)
There's no god, and chances to do the right thing are few and far between. I also prefer solutions to cynicism. How do we win?
1) Jury rights activism is a moral good (see my coming book for details. I promise to polish it more than this post. ...LOL)
2) Jury rights activism structured logically to take advantage of the media (videotaped from a hidden position) is a greater good
3) Jury rights activism structured to contain outreach designed to win office for those who support the supremacy of the jury above the other 3 branches of power-seekers, as openly-libertarian candidates, is a greater good still (it brings the ideas of justice and equality under the law into the spotlight)
The three prior actions, recursively repeated and tailored to local conditions, are all that is required to reinstate and expand individual freedom in America, for all sentiences. There are only 3,171 tyranny outposts (courthouses) in the USA. 6,000 people could stop mala prohibita tomorrow, by interfering with mala prohibita convictions. If the state didn't escalate to violence at that point, we'd have won. If it did, we'd have a 50% shot of winning, instead of a zero% shot if we wait .
How not to move the goalposts
I know: allow people to highlight paragraphs or sentences of text that they like, right-click them, and rank those highlighted sentences (or portions of text between two periods or bullet points or numbered points) from -10 to +10.
When someone highlights a specific portion of the text, they get to see what "Less Wrong" users think about it. Right-clicking allows them to contribute their input. This might be a dog to program, but geepers, it sure would make Less Wrong look even Less Wrong. When the ranking dropdown appears, a comment field also appears, when the rank (ie: +8 or -2) is selected. If "zero" is selected, it would still allow a comment.
PS: I'm curious to know how many less wrong users are "small-L" libertarians, how many are "voluntaryists", how many are aware of the history of jury rights erosion in the USA and commonwealths, and how many participate in electoral politics. Of those who are not libertarians, I am curious to know how many believe stealing is wrong. There, that oughtta inflame everyone. Feel free to email me or call me to discuss strategy for making the USA more free. I believe this would amplify everyone's entrepreneurial efforts thousands of times, if we could accomplish it.