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TheOtherDave comments on Nonperson Predicates - Less Wrong

29 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 December 2008 01:47AM

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Comment author: TheOtherDave 01 December 2010 04:37:27AM 9 points [-]

I am struggling to understand how something can be a friendly AI in the first place without being able to distinguish people from non-people.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 20 March 2013 06:00:21AM 7 points [-]

The boundaries between present-day people and non-people can be sharper, by a fiat of many intervening class members being nonexistent, than the ideal categories. In other words, except for chimpanzees, cryonics patients, Terry Schiavo, and babies who are exactly 1 year and 2 months and 5 days old, there isn't much that's ambiguous between person and non-person.

More to the point, a CEV-based AI has a potentially different definition of 'sentient being' and 'the class I am to extrapolate'. Theoretically you could be given the latter definition by pointing and not worry too much about boundary cases, and let it work out the former class by itself - if you were sure that the FAI would arrive at the correct answer without creating any sentients along the way!

Comment author: TheOtherDave 20 March 2013 03:02:43PM 1 point [-]

The boundaries between present-day people and non-people can be sharper, by a fiat of many intervening class members being nonexistent, than the ideal categories.

Fair point.

More to the point, a CEV-based AI has a potentially different definition of 'sentient being' and 'the class I am to extrapolate'. Theoretically you could be given the latter definition by pointing

Mm. Theoretically, yes, I suppose someone could point to every person, and I could be constructed so as to not generalize the extrapolated class beyond the particular targets I've been given.

I'm not sure I would endorse that, but I think that gets us into questions of what the extrapolated class ought to comprise in the first place, which is a much larger and mostly tangential discussion.

So, fair enough... point taken.

Comment author: MugaSofer 24 March 2013 10:47:22PM 0 points [-]

In other words, except for chimpanzees, cryonics patients, Terry Schiavo, and babies who are exactly 1 year and 2 months and 5 days old, there isn't much that's ambiguous between person and non-person.

Slightly offtopic, but doesn't that assume personhood is binary? I've always assumed it was a sliding scale (I care far less about a dog compared to a human, but I care even less about a fly getting it's wings pulled off. And even then, I care more than about a miniature clockwork fly.)