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Louis_Choquel comments on The Logical Fallacy of Generalization from Fictional Evidence - Less Wrong

39 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 16 October 2007 03:57AM

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Comment author: Louis_Choquel 20 October 2007 09:12:55AM 2 points [-]

I totally agree, Eliezer. Yet I like making references to science fiction when I discuss the future when discussing with friends, or on my blog for a couple of reasons:

- It's a strong argument in favor of accelerating change: the technology that exists today is way beyond many of the gadgets depicted in SF from a few decades back which predicted them for 1500 years later. And, even more impressing is that these gadgets are cheap and available to anyone, at least in rich countries (mobile phones, the Web, GPS, iPods...). If anything, it stresses how common wisdom downplays the evolution of technologies, which helps to make a case for AGI emerging in decades, not centuries.

- SF helps to raise important questions about the future which are hard to address in the setting of the present. The classic example of that is the failure of Asimov's law of robotics. The more recent example is the TV series BattleStar Galactica. Of course it's unrealistic and biased, but it changed my views on the issues of AGI's rights. Can a robot be destroyed without a proper trial? Is it OK to torture it? to rape it? What about marrying one? or having children with it (or should I type "her")?

Comment author: danlowlite 28 October 2010 02:07:32PM 2 points [-]

What about marrying one? or having children with it (or should I type "her")?

Depends. What does the robot identify as?

Comment author: MugaSofer 10 January 2013 10:52:57AM -2 points [-]

Can a robot be destroyed without a proper trial? Is it OK to torture it? to rape it? What about marrying one? or having children with it (or should I type "her")?

I can't help but notice that many (all?) of these questions seem dependent on how closely the AGI resembles a neurotypical human.

Comment author: DanielLC 12 April 2014 05:41:48AM 2 points [-]

It's a strong argument in favor of accelerating change: the technology that exists today is way beyond many of the gadgets depicted in SF from a few decades back which predicted them for 1500 years later.

I've noticed that it's not so much that our technology is better as it is that it's completely different. Science fiction routinely includes things that are physically impossible. We invent things that never occurred to authors. What you're really doing is using science fiction to illustrate that you can't predict the future by relying on science fiction.