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March 30, 2012


Rational Artificial Intelligence for the Greater Good

by omohundro

This paper will be in the upcoming Springer volume: “The Singularity Hypothesis: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment”.

Here is a pdf of the current version:

Abstract: Today’s technology is mostly preprogrammed but the next generation will make many decisions autonomously. This shift is likely to impact every aspect of our lives and will create many new benefits and challenges. A simple thought experiment about a chess robot illustrates that autonomous systems with simplistic goals can behave in anti-social ways. We summarize the modern theory of rational systems and discuss the effects of bounded computational power. We show that rational systems are subject to a variety of “drives” including self-protection, resource acquisition, replication, goal preservation, efficiency, and self-improvement. We describe techniques for counteracting problematic drives. We then describe the “Safe-AI Scaffolding” development strategy and conclude with longer term strategies for ensuring that intelligent technology contributes to the greater human good.

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