I wanted to post this because I am very opposed to the idea of AI. Read this conversation and you will see why.

Alex writes:

Looking at the Less Wrong Wiki entry on the absurdity heuristic (http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Absurdity_heuristic) reminds me again how the Less Wrong Sequences were written to justify the authors most cherished belief.

The absurdity heuristic is alright, as long as we’re not talking about AI risks. Demanding evidence when facing extraordinary claims is good, as long as we’re not talking about AI risks. Making beliefs pay rent in anticipated experience is good, as long as we’re not talking about AI risks. Because risks from AI are an unfalsifiable vague prediction you can’t ignore due to expected utility maximization, which is rational even though it is uncomputable and leads to absurd results. But we don’t say “Oops” because, obviously, we’re talking about AI risks.

And yes, we’d normally call this Pascal’s mugging but since we’re talking about AI risks we don’t do that!

Absurdity heuristic – Lesswrongwiki


The absurdity heuristic classifies highly untypical situations as “absurd”, or impossible. While normally very useful as a form of epistemic hygiene, allowing to detect nonsense, it suffers from the same problems as representativeness heuristic.

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  • Richard Evans Okay, I’m a smart guy but what you are talking about went right over my head. Are you claiming it is illogical to make predictions on the risks of artificial intelligence?
  • Eray Ozkural Somebody was wondering if the “methods” of AI doomsayer community could be considered rational.

    No, they cannot be.

    PS: The above analysis was written by Alex, as I wrote………….
  • Eray Ozkural Richard Evans I’m not “claiming”, I’m stating that they are not rational when it comes to talking about their foolish belief that AI technology poses an existential risk.
  • Eray Ozkural Irrational belief is called “faith”. They have faith, they don’t have any rational arguments to back up their faith.
  • Eray Ozkural All they have, AFAICT, are arguments from ignorance, and some commitments to faith. And a good amount of irrational yelping.
  • Richard Evans In regards to existential issues, no. But I am dead set against AI and I think I have all of human civilization to point to as evidence.
  • Eray Ozkural Richard Evans That makes you a neo-luddite. Congratulations.
  • Richard Evans Not at all. I have no problems with technology or computers or even human augmentation and robotics. What I have a problem with specifically is machines built to replicate the human mind.
  • Eray Ozkural Richard Evans And do you have any good reason why anyone should take your opinion seriously?
  • Richard Evans I am sorry, that’s two rude comments at once. No point in furthering this discussion since you obviously posted to boast your superiority.
  • Eray Ozkural Because at the first look, it looks like good old vitalism. You seem not to know that your brain is a machine. It’s already a machine, so what exactly is your problem with machines?
  • Eray Ozkural Richard Evans Indeed, I have a quite sharp intellect. But tell me, why do you think it’s offensive, that I say that I don’t see any reason why anyone should take that opinion seriously? That I’m asking you for a reason why you think that’s true? 

    Or maybe you don’t have any reasons at all. Could that be a good reason why you’re offended. That’s my best guess here.
  • Richard Evans Any time you start a post with “Congratulations” you are being condescending. 

    My opinion matters as much as yours, at least I gave you the opportunity to share it.
  • Eray Ozkural Richard Evans I don’t believe that your opinion matters as much as mine, for very good reasons. I beg to differ. How come you are not a neo-luddite, for God’s sake, tell me. And give at least one good reason why that’s sensible, what you said about “machines”?
  • Eray Ozkural Of course, when people don’t have anything valuable to say, they start complaining about my tone. What if I’m both right, *and* stern? 

    What if I just know much about this subject to make a very quick judgement about your position?
  • Richard Evans Like I said, I am only against artificial intelligence, not machines.
  • Eray Ozkural Richard Evans That’s both contradictory with what you said earlier. And doesn’t answer my criticism of “What I have a problem with specifically is machines built to replicate the human mind.”

    I said in reply:
    “Because at the first look, it looks like …See More
  • Richard Evans Intelligence exists only on Earth, among one species (perhaps two or three). Any artificial intelligence is going to have all the flaws of its designer (us) as well as the flaws that come with intelligence and self-awareness. Evolution naturally insure…See More
  • Eray Ozkural “Intelligence exists only on Earth, among one species (perhaps two or three).”

    This is false. As well as the rest.
  • Richard Evans Oh, so creatures who don’t use machines are considered intelligent? If that is true, then we already have AI.
  • Eray Ozkural “Either AI will be flawed and weak and will never surpass humanity, or it will be flawless and without evolutionary blockades will lead inevitably to them becoming greater than us. Either scenario is bad for us as a species.”

    This is exactly what I me…See More
  • Eray Ozkural Speciesism/Vitalism/Neo-luddism rolled in one. I can’t take this opinion seriously, and I claim that no futurist should.

    You’ve made a good reductio ad absurdum. Your position is really against higher intelligence (being greater), not being a machine. And if it were against being a machine, that’s just vitalism. It’s ethically dubious at any rate.
  • Richard Evans They won’t be greater than me, that is the point. They will be the SAME. What proof is there that they can be greater?
  • Eray Ozkural Richard Evans Are you suggesting that, say, Dr. Hawking has the same quality of genes, as yourself, as it relates to intelligence?
  • Richard Evans I am sorry, is he not human?
  • Richard Evans Oh I see, you think being intellectual is superior and machines will be as superior to you as you are to us. I get it now.
  • Eray Ozkural Richard Evans Yes, but he is genetically superior wrt his brain function. He has genetically higher intelligence. And he is much greater than you. Why is that not bothering you?
  • Eray Ozkural Richard Evans Of course, there are always idiots who think that intelligence is not the most important property of a person. I’m not even getting into a debate about that. Hawking’s intelligence exceeds you tenfold, and he had both the genetic background and the mental dexterity to achieve it.
  • Richard Evans It doesn’t bother me because he is confined to a wheelchair. Humanity is more than intellect and what you think. The minute a machine can feel, things will get stranger than you can imagine.
  • Eray Ozkural Richard Evans I’m sorry, I wasn’t debating you, really. Just pointing out some deep flaws in your “opinion”.
  • Richard Evans That’s fine. I just don’t think you understand humanity. AI will not just be a logic machine. It will think and feel and it will love and hate and as I first said, given the track record of Earth’s dominant species, I don’t want to see that happen in my lifetime.
  • Eray Ozkural We know what neo-luddites feel like. We just don’t care about your feelings.
  • Eray Ozkural I personally can’t see much difference between the god-fearing ape and AI-fearing ape.
  • Pierre de Lacaze Richard: Why are you “dead set against AI”? Do you own or use a smart phone? Do you use Google Search? If so, you are in fact using, and hence, at some level embracing and encouraging AI, granted an arguably young form of AI.
  • Richard Evans Pierre, I assumed we were talking about a fully self-aware intelligence. 

    And Eray proved my point for me.
  • Eray Ozkural The feeble attempt at trying to sound smart. But that really means nothing of the sort.

    Neo-luddites have no case. 

    As I pointed out we scientists are already far smarter than neo-luddites, therefore they should also be afraid of us.  Oooh, a scientist, let’s run back into our caves, who knows what he’s capable of?!?!?
  • Richard Evans For a smart guy, you are pretty easy to manipulate into validating my point. Putting a brain like yours into a machine would not, in any way that I’ve yet to see, improve humanity.
  • Eray Ozkural And putting your brain into a machine would certainly be a waste of a good CPU.
  • In the end, Eray proves my point for me. AI will ultimately believe itself to be superior to humanity or, at the very least, prove itself to be as flawed and dangerous.As it nears an end. . .  here is what he had to say:

    • Eray Ozkural And putting your brain into a machine would certainly be a waste of a good CPU.
    • Eray Ozkural I will concede one point: increasing the lifespan of neoluddites, or augmenting their intelligence is surely dangerous. Why give the caveman a lasergun, I will argue in response.
    • Richard Evans Which is exactly what I said. And you throw that word around like a racial slur, bud.
    • Eray Ozkural The funny point being that the idiots at MIRI have already framed AI researchers themselves as “existential risk”, you’re no different Richard, and I don’t respect your attitude or your opinion.
    • Eray Ozkural By neoluddites I mean people who are against AI. They really should not try to separate themselves from other kinds of luddites. People who don’t respect science are people who are disrespectful to the single most important endeavor of humanity.
    • Eray Ozkural The question is why do these vitalists/luddites keep trying to infiltrate our ranks? You have no place in a group titled “scientific transhumanism”, IMNSHO.
    • Richard Evans Wow. Are you mad now because you don’t offend me? Or do you just have this much hate for people who are not like you?
    • Eray Ozkural Richard Evans I don’t like people who hate science and progress. It’s not personal. I don’t like luddites. Let’s not be friendly.
    • Eray Ozkural If you demand respect for your neo-luddite opinion, well, I’ve got none here.
    • Richard Evans You assume an awful lot about me given the fact we’ve had one conversation. . . 

      Don’t you have a shell to climb back into?


      Intelligence without weakness is dangerous.