[ExI] Yudkowsky's reply (was: Minsky's Transcript)

Harvey Newstrom mail at harveynewstrom.com
Wed Oct 24 02:59:04 UTC 2007

On Tuesday 23 October 2007 16:13, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

I agree with Marvin that every scientist does not need to be an expert 
ethicist.  They also don't need to be an expert politician, security 
engineer, safety engineer, assurance engineer, auditor, tester, deployment 
specialist, psychologist, sociologist, etc. Although all these professions 
have to be integrated on the team to prevent the technology from doing bad 

I also agree with Eliezer that ethics cannot be separated from the process.  I 
don't think Eliezer's viewpoints invalidate Marvin's.  Instead of saying that 
the scientist must be an ethicist, I think Eliezer is saying that the 
ethicist must be a scientist in the same profession and working with the 
non-ethicist scientist.  

I would point out that all of Eliezer's excellent examples of failure are due 
to the ethics being removed from the design process and relegated to vague 
oversight, after-the-fact inspection, or external review.  But these failures 
are caused by the removal of ethics from the design, not the separation of 
ethics and science into separate brains.

As such, these two viewpoints are compatible.  A proper mix of non-ethicist 
scientists and scientist/ethicists could satisfy both viewpoints.

Harvey Newstrom

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