Saturday, October 13, 2012

Taming artificial intelligence

This was an interesting article by David Deutsch in Aeon Magazine about artificial general intelligence (AGI). There were a lot of things he touched upon that would seem relevant to this audience, like how little we know about how our brains work, the nature of self-awareness, our sense of self and sense of purpose and the origins of both, etc. One of the most interesting parts, though, was when he addresses some of the "scary" things about creating a machine with artificial general intelligence, particularly regarding some peoples' concerns about the AGI being more powerful than we are and how it would choose to use that power. He addressed it in a very open-minded and enlightened way:

Some people are wondering whether we should welcome our new robot overlords. Some hope to learn how we can rig their programming to make them constitutionally unable to harm humans (as in Isaac Asimov’s ‘laws of robotics’), or to prevent them from acquiring the theory that the universe should be converted into paper clips (as imagined by Nick Bostrom). None of these are the real problem. It has always been the case that a single exceptionally creative person can be thousands of times as productive — economically, intellectually or whatever — as most people; and that such a person could do enormous harm were he to turn his powers to evil instead of good.

These phenomena have nothing to do with AGIs. The battle between good and evil ideas is as old as our species and will continue regardless of the hardware on which it is running. The issue is: we want the intelligences with (morally) good ideas always to defeat the evil intelligences, biological and artificial; but we are fallible, and our own conception of ‘good’ needs continual improvement. How should society be organised so as to promote that improvement? ‘Enslave all intelligence’ would be a catastrophically wrong answer, and ‘enslave all intelligence that doesn’t look like us’ would not be much better.

The parallel is not exact between AGIs and sociopaths, and of course his solution is a non-solution. He doesn't even manage to really define what he means by evil, except with a quick parenthetical allusion to morality. Maybe the machines would have a more workable form of "morality"? But it's an interesting question: Is there anything so special about our morality that we would try to indoctrinate AGIs to it? Is there enough logic to human morality that they would accept it? If so, then we don't really need to use the word "morality," do we? We could just appeal to their logic. Same with sociopaths. If morality is really such a universal "good" (pardon all of the quotes), then can't we also appeal to a sociopath's logic? Or sense of self preservation? Or even the sociopaths self-interest regarding living in a relatively stable society in which most people are engaged in societal profitable endeavours that also benefit the sociopath in indirect ways? Civilization is vulnerable, but in a lot of ways it is robust. I behave in a civilized way because it works, it reaps rewards. (Not that AGIs would necessarily experience those side-effects as "rewards," which is I guess why people are so concerned.)

By the way, I have a friend who is an exceptionally creative person who is capable of being a thousand times more productive as most people. And that is a scary thought to me, that she had so much power, so I can empathize with people who fear sociopaths.


  1. Replies
    1. the one and only Mmmmmmadjoe

    2. sociopath is not "damaged" in a way npd is. they truly are at peace with what they are-see the good bad and ugly and still love themselves"
      bah someone stole my quote

  2. Arno the Indifferent and has Selective Sight and HearingOctober 13, 2012 at 3:40 AM


  3. :) Good Morning Sociopathworld!!!!!!

    How are we all doing today ladies and gents?

    PS- Guess what? Starting from yesterday Iam SAVING ALL PARTS of "Walters P.D.", that is gonna be a great book someday when it is all put together..........

    1. Disgusted Reader F.S.October 13, 2012 at 6:11 AM

      I received the phone-call I had been expecting for weeks now. It was from head-office. I’d been given the all-clear.

      For weeks now some alcoholic, narcotic-addicted dangerously deluded imposter was going around pretending to be to be a hard-boiled, crime noir detective a la Raymond Chandler, Jim Thompson and Dashiell Hammett.

      However, about the only thing hard-boiled about him were the ones on his ass from sitting on it for so long. He was a serial thriller but without the thrills.

      His half-baked hackneyed noir fiction clichés were the delirious product of his fully-baked slack-jawed yokel crack-addled brain. He was murdering the English language one word at a time and now it was time to put an end to his reign of typo-errors.

      That’s when I called me: Disgusted Reader – Fraud Squad.

      It wasn't difficult to track this pot-head boiler penny dreadful to the whereabouts of his office where he had been holed-up for several weeks without actually ever leaving it.

      Rereading through his turgid and god-awful prose he had inadvertently name-dropped one Veronica Von. His mole.

      It didn't take long to find the sleazy strip-bar where Von made her living receiving tips from society’s detritus and disease-riddled vermin – and then sucking those tips off.

      So when I walked in with a roll of money you could choke a donkey with – I become her new BF – Benjamin Franklin best-friend. But that wasn't the only thing donkey-like and choking that night. It was admittedly impressive that in-between having her mouth full that she could spit out the whereabouts of that numb-nuts über-empath that used to stalk her – Richard Walters.

      Walter’s office was some shit-hole in the wrong side of the wrong side of town. It was the sort of place the cockroaches would complain about the conditions. The place had been boarded up so that no-one could get in let alone get out. It could have once been a Chinese manufacturing factory. Or could still be.

      What little mouse-hole would he have to crawl out under to get his junk supplies? There was no option but to call out to him in the unlikely event he’d wake up out of whatever drink & drugged induced stupor in was in and let me come up to his dirty den of iniquity and kick his paper-backed keister into a bloody pulp.

      To my amazement Walters eventually appeared at the window in a disorientated state. It seemed he had no idea where he was or what was going on. But as soon as he appeared he about-faced and shut the blinds behind him. That fucker wasn't going to ignore me and get away with it.

      It took me several hours to eventually clamber my way in through the heavily fortified abandoned office building. The place stunk like a Tim Burton film in odorama. I stealthily made my way to his office entrance and listened while waiting to burst through.

      There was no sound, no movement. It was eerily still.


      I decided then to try the conventional method of just opening the door. It budged a little. There was still no sign of life. I intrepidly peered from behind the half-opened door and realised the reason for the deathly aura of lifelessness emanating from the office within. A bloody syringe lay prone next to his bloodless corpse.

      Walters was from the bad side of the tracks alright. The tracks all through his arm.

      THE END

    2. That is great writing. I didn't know you had it in you, DR.

    3. LMAO!!!! LMAO!!!!! LMAO!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! HILARIOUS!!!! BRILLIANT!!!!!!

      For somebody who is so disgusted with me, who hates me and my worthless, lazy drugged out lifestyle, you srue took alot of time to think about me and write that......

      I actually feel more loved than hated by you "Disgusted Reader" for somebody to be so passionate about writing about me I must have done something to really get into their mind good, and stay there.......

      I dont know which one of your MANY personalities wrote this, but I feel that the one that did secretly has alot of love for me, Walters P.D. :)

    4. Hello Monica! How are you today? I missed you last night!!!

      I hope you had a nice big meal, with a cesar salad to start it off :)

    5. What nutcase kills off his main character before said character even leaves his office? Oh well. Detective noir is so old. I'm going for scifi, sexbots and reptiles.

    6. It was freebase killed the beast.

  4. So when is the sex-droids coming?

    1. On the seventh second of forever the sex-droids landed in force. They spilled forth from their intergalactic starships amid refrains of, Do not panic, we cum in peace. The citizens of earth screamed and gnashed their teeth in vain.

    2. Only one man was prepared for their arrival. A man of special mind and spatial capability. A man who had invested wisely in tin foil futures, and had developed his psy powers to such exquisite sensitivity that he had detected the presence of the sex-droid starships before they entered near-earth orbit. As the humans howled under mechanoid ravishment this man clutched his Nikola Tesla biography and began his ritual purifications.

    3. “tin foil futures” - Laughing My Fucking Loyal Droidism Fan Ass Off

      This is cult genius

  5. Hi, Mindless Pleasures. I have the feeling you had too much fun out there, or living a slight SW withdrawal. Can you sort of itemize how your night went, how many new people you met, how many old ones you ran into that mattered? I am curious about a night out in London. I was robbed as soon as I arrived in London, but luckily the guys got the least important stuff. When I went to the police station they told me to have no hope that they will ever find what was stolen. Cole slaw made an impression on me on that trip. It was much better than the American version.

    I share the same curiosity with you, and travels, and a joy from understanding sociopaths better and better as each day goes by. I also feel sociopaths make great friends for curious minds.

    I started reading The Psychopath Test. I noticed that Ronson also has a title Adventures with Extremists. There it is, how can a curious mind not enjoy extremists. I need to read that book too.

    Rich, cool that you're getting your blood legally acceptable for work. What kind of work are you planning to get into? Will that be easy?

    1. Iam going to try for ANYTHING really, Iam hoping to work the night shift at a 24 hour place like walmart like stocking shelves or something so I dont have to deal much with the general public, but any job will do, just as long as I dont have to deal with people and be friendly to them all day long! LOL! Iam kind of a loner, I have social anxiety so I dont like being around people who I dont know much or ho are mean or unkind.

      I can be the nicest person in the world but if somebody is rude to me or wants to disrespect me or fight in any way, verbally or physically, they get the same treatment they give me......... Iam always nice, cordial, and composed until a person gives me a reason not to be ;)

      PS- I dont know when my next drug text is at the methadone clinic to see whe Iam clean from weed but at my local dollar store they sell pregnancy tests and drug tests so my mother got me a weed (THC) drug test for only $1!!!! So I can use that in about two weeks to check my system if I dont have a drug test from my clini by then :)

      I had some weed stashed for when I can smoke again but my stepdad ran out today so I gave it to him until he can get more ;) he smokes even more than I do when I leave him with access to his weed (Every time he buys a bag, he gives me at least half of it or more to hold or he knows he will smoke it all up! LOL)

    2. Rich if you suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder the weed, alcohol and mad cocktails of medications you enjoy only make that worse.

      Interesting part of your persona how you know what's bad for you but yet there you go Moth to Flame.

      But then again, from past associations with a variety of people/various walks of life, often the 'adventure' or 'bad boy wanna-be' Braggadocios are merely attention seekers otherwise leading lives nothing like what they speak.

      You're an adult? A man, right? So why is your Mom buying drug tests from the Dollar store for you?

      I mean no offense, I'm curious.

  6. SociopathWorld Forum Digested ReadsOctober 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    The Lords Prayer – Imagine if you will if it was Napoleon Dynamite who was one of the gunmen on that fateful day at Columbine and you may come somewhere close to getting an insight into who or what or even why is Spatial Mind. Part Doctor Phil, part Marvin the Martian. The contrasts as stark and as mystifying as the Baader-Meinhof Gang attending a Bar Mitzvah. Spatial Mind’s reinterpretation of The Lord’s Prayer is as good as argument as any that medicated America is not only a safer, healthier option for the patients – but for the whole planet.

    I'm a Young Sociopath – A stream of consciousness homo-erotic diary entry into a budding young pseudo-intellectual emo brat who with all his self proclaimed smarts wouldn't know the meaning of prolix if it came up to him, introduced itself politely and then proceeded to slap him around repeatedly until he swore he understood its meaning and then made him promise to never do it again and then courteously bid him farewell upon receiving that promise. However, Digested Reads would not be doing its job if we didn't say what it’s about. Well, here it is – nothing. He’s not a young sociopath – he’s that cardinal sin of SociopathWorld - dull. Skip the original post and go straight to the cheap yuks from the roll-call of usual SociopathWorld suspects lining up to dole out the well-deserved abuse.

    Fear no evil – And speaking of abuse. The vulgarity vultures were certainly circling immediately after dead man walking self confessed ‘pro-selfish’ anti-social bad boy ‘Malevolence’ asked SociopathWorld ‘What have you in store for me?’ Unfortunately the Forum General Store was fresh out of Hawaiian lei’s and welcoming pleasantries. However what they did have in abundance was fresh-mouthed mockery and palpable malice. From no-nonsense, no survivors, no shit MEE’s bone-chilling, ‘This ain't no market motherfucker' to an almost unrepeatable volley of obscenities and grotesquery from nuggety new SociopathWorld member ‘Naked Mole-Rat’ adding concern to SociopathWorld’s growing rodent infestation problem.

    1. I'm liking these recaps. If only you made all the comments in those threads, too, maybe they'd be worth reading.~

  7. This guy proposes a system of ethics that isn't based on religion.

    Basically, if you behave ethically - in a real sense, not in a "trying to be good sense" - you'll feel happy.

    He's very rigorous about it. He doesn't seem to take things for granted.

    1. The Spatial Mind ExposedOctober 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      From: Re: spatial Mind LOVES COCKS Oct 14, 2012; 3:16am

      [entire quote to ensure it’s not edited] “The whole time I was here I never really looked into the comments section until today.

      I never seen too many things regarding me in there, and I don't agree with what SociopathWorld Forum Digested Reads, wrote about me and my Lord's Prayer.

      The feedback is funny yes. But so misleading, I weep for the sheeple.

      Though I appreciate the fist anonymous response to the coverage. It's good.”

      1. Anonymous [October 13, 2012 2:37 PM] above is Spatial Mind

      2. “Never really” looked into the comments is an admission he looked into the comments section – fucking liar.

      3. More or less confessing it in the very next paragraph the fucking retard.

      4. ‘Though I appreciate the ‘fist’. Paging Dr Freud. Spatial Mind enjoys fisting. Preferably fisting himself.

    2. Spatial Mind is TNP. Obviously.

  8. All day I've been listening to pathetics wax poetic about the zombie apocalypse and welcoming our robot overlords. as if it would actually happen. seriously? I get the fun and amusement but it's not happening. ever. doubly so for the zombie apocalypse. people are beyond retarded

    1. also the drinking and klonopin is staring early. so if you want wacky conversation this Is all I have to offer atm.

    2. I have a friend who has a zombie apocalypse survival kit in her trunk, and under her bed. She watches every single zombie movie to help gauge what she is up against (even though they are movies=not real), and she religiously plays games like resident evil to get a clue on how to use a gun.


      The saddest part of ALL of this is she will be a registered nurse in a year. least she can cater to her wounds "when" she gets hurt.

    3. Haven, no clue what this zombie thing is. i'll google but curious to hear your take further on this.

      your 2:59 is not coherent, so cute, say more...

    4. LOL! HELL YEAH HAVEN!!!! Do it up girl!!!! Party like its your 21st birthday again!

      Have a drink and a klonopin for me will ya?!?

      Iam detoxing from the alcohol with my xanax and taking 2mgs (one pill) every 12 hours and it seems to be holding me well..... My mother and I did a count of my pills and I have #91 2mg xanax left, 6 10mg Valium, and 2 5mg Valium.

      but I see my doc in 13 days and he is set to prescribe me 60 more 2mg xanax because my methadone clinic doc says if I dont cut my xanax dose he is gonna but my methadone dose so id rather cut my xanax to be honest........ Iam gonna work my way clean of it in the next 2 months or less ;) but ill still have my emergency pills for when I need them, they are my "security blanket" for tough times! :)

    5. LMAO, Piles, your friend sounds like a real nutjob :) LOL Probably no worse than Iam though ;)

  9. OMG!

    I was out of the country in a latino island for two months when this Rudy Eugene guy was in the headlines... What the f....

    Biting enough to render both eyes blind.... Ouch...

  10. I had an incredible thing happen to me. I am sharing it for anyone who has the same trouble I do.

    My stomach would hurt me all the time, to a lesser or greater degree, but, always, at some level. I put my emotions into my stomach.

    Someone brought me an Aloe planet. I have had one leaf a day, for the past 2 days and my stomach feels great.

    It is very bitter, so you have to mix it with juice. It is like a miracle. For anyone with the same problem, I hope you consider it.

  11. Need to know if he is a sociopath:
    1. He went to prison for gang violence (he was young)
    2. He never asks for anything, he says things in a way that make you offer what he needs.
    3. He is generally quiet
    4. He abused drugs
    5. He says completely odd things in the wrong moments.
    6. He keeps people in his life seperate. Like seperate lives.
    7. He oftwn says things like "you read my mind, how did you know, and of course to questions any man would have a different opinion.
    8. He is overtly nice to random people yet makes no effort to help those close to him.
    9. He blames everyone else for all his failures.
    10. He is very forgetful, to the point of forgeting his own lies.
    11. He doesnt make plans and if he does they are far fetched (more like pipe dreams).
    12. He has only had a couple outbursts (verbal) but as soon as he sees my eyes tear up he stops and looks scared.
    13. He has never been physically violent to me but I know jas been to other people.
    14. He seems to have some weird rules he made up or le learned in prison that he follows. Example: he doesnt watch porn because "you will just hurt yourself".
    15. I asked if he felt guilty about being a thief when he was younger and he said "if they left their car unlocked or house door open its their own fault.

    I know none of these are good traits and I should run fast but I need to know if its sociopathy.

    1. He's likely just a confused socially inadequate loser. Next time you see a curb, kick him that direction. Save yourself some grief.

    2. Of course he watches porn

    3. Of course he is sociopathic. Lies are there, not giving a damn there, not taking responsibility for actions there. What more do we want to hit the socio spectrum somewhere?.

  12. Very nice updates guys, its ben a fun filed week. Mr naked mole rat I tip my beenie to u. Your friendly lurker.

  13. This blog posting is a personal account of my long struggle to work in artificial intelligence during different trends in computer science.virtual assistant software


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