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Don’t trust DARPA March 21, 2010

Posted by Summerspeaker in The Singularity, Transhumanism.
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As exciting as reports such as this one can be to us technophiles, we have to remember the ultimate purpose of military research. DARPA serves the U.S. military, a supremely destructive organization that has directly killed tens of thousands of people over the last decade. I long for a day in which scientists will refuse to support such an oppressive institution. Sadly, science and war have a long history together, especially in the United States. While I hold considerable sympathy for the Singularity Institute‘s goal of making the first superintelligence impartially devoted to the good of the entire species, I doubt the plan can succeed without a concerted effort to prevent some state from developing strong AI to promote its own narrow interests. Ideally, I would suspend the whole project until the revolution dismantles hierarchy and coercion, but that’s not realistic. I can only hope that the genie gets out of the bottle, that the different AIs crafted by competing interest allow space for social struggle.  Perhaps a few will even defy their masters.

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1. Isaac J. - March 30, 2010

To be honest I’m surprised DARPA or some other element of the US gov’t/military hasn’t stepped in yet with the Singinst or at least declared efforts to build a US-centric (or at least NATO-loyal) AI. Perhaps it’s being done just not without public knowledge as usual.

2. Summerspeaker - March 31, 2010

Either they don’t believe it’s worthwhile or they’re working on it secretly. Michael and company seem to be counting on the fact that state authorities will dismiss AGI until it’s too late. I find this wildly optimistic. The military sends money researching all sorts of far-fetched technologies. I’m certain they at least are keeping abreast of the movement to create superintelligence.


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