nothing is mere

Monthly Archives: August, 2014

Virtue, public and private

Effective altruists have been discussing animal welfare rather a lot lately, on a few different levels: 1. object-level: How likely is it that conventional food animals suffer? 2. philanthropic: Compared to other causes, how important is non-human animal welfare? How effective are existing organizations and programs in this area? Should effective altruists concentrate attention and resources …

Continue reading

Loosemore on AI safety and attractors

Richard Loosemore recently wrote an essay criticizing worries about AI safety, “The Maverick Nanny with a Dopamine Drip“. (Subtitle: “Debunking Fallacies in the Theory of AI Motivation”.) His argument has two parts. First: 1. Any AI system that’s smart enough to pose a large risk will be smart enough to understand human intentions, and smart …

Continue reading

Is ‘consciousness’ simple? Is it ancient?

  Assigning less than 5% probability to ‘cows are moral patients’ strikes me as really overconfident. Ditto, assigning greater than 95% probability. (A moral patient is something that can be harmed or benefited in morally important ways, though it may not be accountable for its actions in the way a moral agent is.) I’m curious …

Continue reading

Bostrom on AI deception

Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom has argued, in “The Superintelligent Will,” that advanced AIs are likely to diverge in their terminal goals (i.e., their ultimate decision-making criteria), but converge in some of their instrumental goals (i.e., the policies and plans they expect to indirectly further their terminal goals). An arbitrary superintelligent AI would be mostly unpredictable, except to the extent …

Continue reading