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Mark_Friedenbach comments on Inverse relationship between belief in foom and years worked in commercial software - Less Wrong Discussion

5 Post author: NancyLebovitz 04 January 2015 03:03PM

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Comment author: [deleted] 06 January 2015 06:43:59PM 2 points [-]

Something feels very,very wrong that Elon Musk is on the left-hand side of the chart, and Ben Goertzel on the right. I'd reckon that Elon Musk is a more reliable source about the timelines of engineering projects in general (with no offense meant to Goertzel). Maybe this axis isn't measuring the right thing?

Comment author: Brian_Tomasik 07 January 2015 08:44:44PM 1 point [-]

This is a good point, and I added it to the penultimate paragraph of the "Caveats" section of the piece.

Comment author: [deleted] 10 January 2015 12:58:39PM *  1 point [-]

That wasn't really the point I was getting at (commercial vs academic). The point was more that there is a skill having to do with planning and execution of plans which people like Elon Musk demonstrably have, which makes their predictions carry significant weight. Elon Musk has been very, very successful in many different industries (certificate authorities, payment services, solar powered homes, electric cars, space transportation) by making controversial / not obvious decisions about the developmental trajectory of new technology, and being proven right in pretty much every case. Goertzel has also founded AI companies (Webmind, Novamente) based on his own predicted trajectories, and ran these businesses into the ground[1]. But Goertzel, having worked with computer tech this whole time, is ranked higher than Musk in terms of experience on your chart. That seems odd, to say the least.

[1] http://www.goertzel.org/benzine/WakingUpFromTheEconomyOfDreams.htm

(Again, I don't want this to sound like a slight against Geortzel. He's one of the AGI researchers I respect the most, even if his market timing and predicted timelines have been off. For example, Webmind and Google started around the same time, and Webmind's portfolio of commercial products was basically the same -- search, classification -- and its general R&D interests are basically aligned with Google post-2006. Google of today is what Webmind was trying to be in 1999 - 2001. If you took someone from mid 2000 and showed them a description of today's Google with names redacted, they'd be excused for thinking it was Webmind, not Google. Execution and near-term focus matters. :\ )