[ExI] Natasha got quoted in the daily mall

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sat Jun 13 11:41:27 UTC 2015

From:   Max More <max at maxmore.com> 


On Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 1:42 PM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

Från:   Giulio Prisco <giulio at gmail.com> 

Anders, don't underestimate the Daily Mail, it's what the people out there read. 
That is my worry.

​Anders, I'm not clear about what you're saying. I assume you're worrying that the Daily Mail is considered a major, reliable, primary source of data for millions of people. That, indeed, is a cause for worry. But you might also be saying that you're worried that people might read the Daily Mail's positive coverage of Natasha et. al.'s c. elegans research and believe it, which I would find puzzling. Or is there a nuance I'm missing?

You know me: I worry that some people think the Daily Mail is an unbiased news source. 

Still, there is an interesting issue in the second possibility. When would we want breakthroughs in transhumanist technologies not to be widely mentioned? The standard case is when there will be a predictable moral outrage from some parties that may cause reaction. Sometimes flying under the radar is a good thing, as a technology becomes more refined and accepted by default. We have similar issues with talk about risks such as AI risk: some public recognition that there is a problem is OK, but most of the importance lies in having the AI community recognize this properly and be motivated to figure out proper solutions - we in the AI risk community are really balancing on a knife edge between being too quiet or accidentally risking triggering stupid overreactions (both from publics that may think AI must be stopped, and from AI people who think AI safety talk is stupid and must be stopped). 

However, adding credibility to a technology in small increments is rarely a bad thing. 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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