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Eliezer Shlomo Yudkowsky (born September 11, 1979) is an American writer on rationality, known for his view that the invention of Artificial General Intelligence would pose an immediate threat to the existence of humankind unless the AGI has effective features built in for the specific purpose of making it harmless.

Eliezer Yudkowsky
Eliezer Yudkowsky, Stanford 2006 (square crop).jpg
Born (1979-09-11) September 11, 1979 (age 39)
NationalityAmerican
OrganizationMachine Intelligence Research Institute
Known forCreating the term Friendly artificial intelligence
Research on AI safety
Rationality writing
Founder of LessWrong
Websiteyudkowsky.net

Contents

Work in artificial intelligence safetyEdit

Yudkowsky's example of how an AI takeover could work was cited by Nick Bostrom in his book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.[1]

Goal learning and incentives in software systemsEdit

Yudkowsky's views on the safety challenges posed by future generations of AI systems are discussed in the undergraduate textbook in AI, Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig's Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. Noting the difficulty of formally specifying general-purpose goals by hand, Russell and Norvig cite Yudkowsky's proposal that autonomous and adaptive systems be designed to learn correct behavior over time:

Yudkowsky (2008)[2] goes into more detail about how to design a Friendly AI. He asserts that friendliness (a desire not to harm humans) should be designed in from the start, but that the designers should recognize both that their own designs may be flawed, and that the robot will learn and evolve over time. Thus the challenge is one of mechanism design – to design a mechanism for evolving AI under a system of checks and balances, and to give the systems utility functions that will remain friendly in the face of such changes.[3]

In response to the instrumental convergence concern, where autonomous decision-making systems with poorly designed goals would have default incentives to mistreat humans, Yudkowsky and other MIRI researchers have recommended that work be done to specify software agents that converge on safe default behaviors even when their goals are misspecified.[4][5]

Capabilities forecastingEdit

In the intelligence explosion scenario hypothesized by I. J. Good, recursively self-improving AI systems quickly transition from subhuman general intelligence to superintelligent.[6] Yudkowsky argues that this is a real possibility. Nick Bostrom's 2014 book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies sketches out Good's argument in detail, while citing writing by Yudkowsky on the risk that anthropomorphizing advanced AI systems will cause people to misunderstand the nature of an intelligence explosion. "AI might make an apparently sharp jump in intelligence purely as the result of anthropomorphism, the human tendency to think of 'village idiot' and 'Einstein' as the extreme ends of the intelligence scale, instead of nearly indistinguishable points on the scale of minds-in-general."[2][7].[3][8]

In their textbook on artificial intelligence, Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig raise the objection that there are known limits to intelligent problem-solving from computational complexity theory; if there are strong limits on how efficiently algorithms can solve various computer science tasks, then intelligence explosion may not be possible.[3] Yudkowsky has debated the likelihood of intelligence explosion with economist Robin Hanson, who argues that AI progress is likely to accelerate over time, but is not likely to be localized or discontinuous.[9] In a 2018 podcast with Sam Harris, Yudkowsky said the means by which AlphaGo Zero had improved on its predecessor was , unexpectedly to him, a loosening rather than a tightening up and this and may indicate that improvement by an AGI would need less human intervention than he had previously assumed.[10]

Rationality writingEdit

Between 2006 and 2009, Yudkowsky and Robin Hanson were the principal contributors to Overcoming Bias, a cognitive and social science blog sponsored by the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. In February 2009, Yudkowsky founded LessWrong,[11][non-primary source needed] a "community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality".[12] Overcoming Bias has since functioned as Hanson's personal blog. LessWrong has been covered in depth in Business Insider.[13]

Over 300 blogposts by Yudkowsky on philosophy and science (originally written on LessWrong and Overcoming Bias) have been released as an ebook entitled Rationality: From AI to Zombies by the Machine Intelligence Research Institute in 2015.[14]

Yudkowsky has also written several works of fiction. His fanfiction story, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, uses plot elements from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series to illustrate topics in science.[12][15][16] The New Yorker described Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality as a retelling of Rowling's original "in an attempt to explain Harry's wizardry through the scientific method".[17]

Academic publicationsEdit

  • Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2007). "Levels of Organization in General Intelligence" (PDF). Artificial General Intelligence. Berlin: Springer.
  • Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2008). "Cognitive Biases Potentially Affecting Judgement of Global Risks" (PDF). In Bostrom, Nick; Ćirković, Milan. Global Catastrophic Risks. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199606504.
  • Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2008). "Artificial Intelligence as a Positive and Negative Factor in Global Risk" (PDF). In Bostrom, Nick; Ćirković, Milan. Global Catastrophic Risks. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199606504.
  • Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2011). "Complex Value Systems in Friendly AI" (PDF). Artificial General Intelligence: 4th International Conference, AGI 2011, Mountain View, CA, USA, August 3–6, 2011. Berlin: Springer.
  • Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2012). "Friendly Artificial Intelligence". In Eden, Ammon; Moor, James; Søraker, John; et al. Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment. Berlin: Springer. ISBN 978-3-642-32559-5.
  • Bostrom, Nick; Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2014). "The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence" (PDF). In Frankish, Keith; Ramsey, William. The Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-87142-6.
  • LaVictoire, Patrick; Fallenstein, Benja; Yudkowsky, Eliezer; Bárász, Mihály; Christiano, Paul; Herreshoff, Marcello (2014). "Program Equilibrium in the Prisoner's Dilemma via Löb's Theorem". Multiagent Interaction without Prior Coordination: Papers from the AAAI-14 Workshop. AAAI Publications.
  • Soares, Nate; Fallenstein, Benja; Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2015). "Corrigibility". AAAI Workshops: Workshops at the Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Austin, TX, January 25–26, 2015. AAAI Publications.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Saperstein, Gregory (August 9, 2012). "5 Minutes With a Visionary: Eliezer Yudkowsky".
  2. ^ a b Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2008). "Artificial Intelligence as a Positive and Negative Factor in Global Risk" (PDF). In Bostrom, Nick; Ćirković, Milan. Global Catastrophic Risks. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199606504.
  3. ^ a b c Russell, Stuart; Norvig, Peter (2009). Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-604259-4.
  4. ^ Soares, Nate; Fallenstein, Benja; Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2015). "Corrigibility". AAAI Workshops: Workshops at the Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Austin, TX, January 25–26, 2015. AAAI Publications.
  5. ^ Leighton, Jonathan (2011). The Battle for Compassion: Ethics in an Apathetic Universe. Algora. ISBN 978-0-87586-870-7.
  6. ^ Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2013). "Five theses, two lemmas, and a couple of strategic implications". MIRI Blog. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  7. ^ Bostrom, Nick (2014). Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. ISBN 0199678111.
  8. ^ Dowd, Maureen. "Elon Musk's Billion-Dollar Crusade to Stop the A.I. Apocalypse". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  9. ^ Hanson, Robin; Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2013). The Hanson-Yudkowsky AI Foom Debate. Machine Intelligence Research Institute.
  10. ^ Sam Harris #116 - AI: RACING TOWARD THE BRINK, A Conversation with Eliezer Yudkowsky. 5 Feb 2018
  11. ^ "Where did Less Wrong come from? (LessWrong FAQ)". Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Miller, James (2012). Singularity Rising. ISBN 978-1936661657.
  13. ^ Miller, James (July 28, 2011). "You Can Learn How To Become More Rational". Business Insider. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  14. ^ Miller, James D. "Rifts in Rationality - New Rambler Review". newramblerreview.com. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  15. ^ David Brin (June 21, 2010). "CONTRARY BRIN: A secret of college life... plus controversies and science!". Davidbrin.blogspot.com. Retrieved August 31, 2012."'Harry Potter' and the Key to Immortality", Daniel Snyder, The Atlantic
  16. ^ Authors (April 2, 2012). "Rachel Aaron interview (April 2012)". Fantasybookreview.co.uk. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  17. ^ Packer, George (2011). "No Death, No Taxes: The Libertarian Futurism of a Silicon Valley Billionaire". The New Yorker: 54. Retrieved October 12, 2015.

External linksEdit