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Dannil comments on Facing the Intelligence Explosion discussion page - Less Wrong

20 Post author: lukeprog 26 November 2011 08:05AM

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Comment author: Dannil 13 April 2013 09:21:46PM *  -1 points [-]

I do not approve of the renaming, singularity to intelligence explosion, in this particular context.

Facing the Singu – Intelligence Explosion, is an emotional piece of writing, there are sections about your (Luke’s) own intellectual and emotional journey to singularitarianism, a section about how to overcome whatever quarrels one might have with the truth and the way towards it (Don’t Flinch Away), and finally the utopian ending which obviously is written to have emotional appeal.

The expression “intelligence explosion” does not have emotional appeal. The word intelligence sounds serious, and thus it fits well in, say, the name of a research institute, but many people view intelligence as more or less the opposite of emotion, or at least at something geeky and boring. And while they for sure are wrong in doing so, as also explained in the text, the association still remains. The word “explosion” also has mostly negative connotations.

“Singularity”, on the other hand, has been hyped for decades, by science fiction, by Kurzweil, and by even SIAI before the rebranding. Sci-fi and Kurzweil may not have given the word the most thorough underpinning, but they gave it hype and recognition, and texts such as this could give the needed foundation in reality.

I understand that the renaming is part of the “political” move of distancing the MIRI from some of the hype, but for this particular text, I reckon it a bad choice. “Facing The Singularity” would sell more copies.