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Hopefully_Anonymous2 comments on The Virtue of Narrowness - Less Wrong

56 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 August 2007 05:57PM

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Comment author: Hopefully_Anonymous2 08 August 2007 05:57:48PM 2 points [-]

well, I googled superintelligence and corporations and this came up with the top result for an articulated claim that corporations are superintelligent:


The top result for an articulated claim that corporations are not superintelligent came from our own Nick Bostrom:

Nick Bostrom "A superintelligence is any intellect that is vastly outperforms the best human brains in practically every field, including scientific creativity, general wisdom, and social skills.1This definition leaves open how the superintelligence is implemented – it could be in a digital computer, an ensemble of networked computers, cultured cortical tissue, or something else."

If one is defining superintelligent as able to beat any human in any field, then I think it's reasonable to say that no corporations currently behave in a superintelligent manner. But that doesn't mean that the smartest corporations aren't smarter than the smartest humans. It may mean that it's just not rational for them to engage in those specific tasks. Anyways, the way corporations operate, one wouldn't attempt, as a unit, to be more socially skilled than Bill Clinton. It would just pay to utilize Bill Clinton's social skills.

So Nick's point is interesting, but I don't think it's an ending point, it's a starting or midway point in the analysis of networked groups of humans (and nonhuman computers, etc.) as potentially distinct intelligences, in my opinion.

Here are some more personal thoughts on this in a recent blog post of mine: