[extropy-chat] Elvis Sightings

John K Clark jonkc at att.net
Mon Jan 29 17:06:27 UTC 2007

"Ben Goertzel" <ben at goertzel.org>

> Early on the exponential growth curve of progress in a given area,
> progress can seem slow...

No, I'm not talking about slow growth, I'm talking about ZERO growth. The
cold fusion field has not moved an inch in 17 years, NOT ONE INCH. The
pattern is always the same, every few months somebody few have heard of
claims to have detected excess heat, a few people even more obscure repeat
the experiment and say they see it too; but when people you actually have
head of try it they see nothing. As I said before if you're looking for
something that does not exist a poor researcher will get more positive
results than a good one. Look, we both know we will be in exactly the same
situation one year from now, why do you suppose that is? I mean you don't
need a 10 billion dollar accelerator to do this work, and we're not talking
about some deep abstract quantum principle, it's just heat, it's either
there or it's not. Scientists routinely detect FAR more subtle things than
that! So what is it about that heat that is so different from other
scientific facts? I will tell you the difference, one exists and one does
not. And that is why we will be in exactly the same position one year
from today.

Scientists can never prove something does not exist, but they can prove
something is not worth their time. And ESP is even worse than cold fusion,
it hasn't moved an inch in well over a century.  Yes it would be pretty neat
if both those things were true, but wising does not make it so. Get over it.

> By your argument, AGI should also be abandoned due to lack of prior
> progress...

I'm just guessing but I assume the homemade acronym AGI stands for
artificial general intelligence not the American Geological Institute or
Adjusted Gross Income (why you would feel the need to stick a "G" in there
is beyond we) And I certainly don't agree there has been no progress, it's
just that as soon as a computer can do something (recognizing speech,
solving equations, playing chess) people change their minds and say that's
not really intelligence. AI is whatever a computer can't do yet.

John K Clark

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