ESSAYS

Follow my essays on artificial intelligence, ethics, and the transition to transhumanism.
The Death of Sardanapalus and the Birth of AGI

The Death of Sardanapalus and the Birth of AGI

We assume that the tech founders who are building artificial general intelligence (AGI) care about safety. The firms closest to creating AGI sure to talk about it a lot. If not for the safety of others, certainly for their employees. Even if they were recklessly...

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Closing the Human Reward Circuit

Closing the Human Reward Circuit

Today, Fulfilling Our Reward Circuits is "Hit or Miss": Our daily lives are an amble from one reward circuit to the next (from hunger, to boredom, etc), what we constantly desire is a change in our emotional state. Very frequently, the actions we take to satisfy our...

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Setting a Direction for AGI Ethics

Setting a Direction for AGI Ethics

How should we influence the "values" or "ethics" or "morality" of a future AGI? I'm not sure this kind of direction setting is possible, and it may be entirely futile, but I'll give it my best shot. I'd argue that there is no perfect answer to this question, but there...

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Your “Dystopia” is Myopia

Your “Dystopia” is Myopia

I’m writing to you as a friend. Beliefs about the future are limiting your potential, and they're working against your future wellbeing and power. I don’t want that for you. Follow me for a minute. Imagine traveling back in time 60 years and telling your grandmother...

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Spires of Form – Emerson on Humanity Overcoming Itself

Spires of Form – Emerson on Humanity Overcoming Itself

Many of my favorite quotes of Ralph Waldo Emerson seem to point to an important overarching idea: We exist as an arbitrary point in a grand scheme of intelligence and development - and that if there be “sacredness” at all, it is more in our ascension than in our...

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Circuits – and the Arbitrariness of Beauty and Value

Circuits – and the Arbitrariness of Beauty and Value

Some lines from Keats: Linger awhile upon some bending planks That lean against a streamlet's rushy banks, And watch intently Nature's gentle doings: They will be found softer than ring-dove's cooings. How silent comes the water round that bend; Not the minutest...

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The Simulation Argument Gets Us Nowhere

The Simulation Argument Gets Us Nowhere

I have a great respect for Bostrom, and genuinely believe him to be one of the most important thinkers alive today. I agree with a great many of his ideas, and have been influenced my many of his essays over the last decade, from What is a Singleton? to Utopia and...

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