Lifeboat News #150


Lifeboat News

This issue published on 01/01/15. Copyright 2015 Lifeboat Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

AGI-15 @ Berlin

Our Itamar Arel, Joscha Bach, Eric Baum, Antonio Chella, Stan Franklin, Deon Garrett, Ben Goertzel, Marcus Hutter, Matthew Iklé, Randal Koene, Kai-Uwe Kühnberger, Moshe Looks, Alexey Potapov, Rafal Rzepka, Jürgen Schmidhuber, Claes Strannegård, Kristinn Thórisson, Julian Togelius, Pei Wang, David Weinbaum (Weaver), and Roman Yampolskiy are participating in The Eighth Conference on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI-15) which will be held July 22–25, 2015 at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Germany.
This conference gathers an international group of leading academic and industry researchers involved in scientific and engineering work aimed directly toward the goal of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).

Interactive Friendly-AI

Thanks to support at FLI, we have decided to submit a proposal at
Below is our proposed project summary. Note that this summary is limited to 500 words. If the initial proposal is accepted, then a much more detailed full proposal will be created in a few months.
Let us know if you have comments on this proposal or would like to support it with time or money.
Project Summary
Currently most Friendly AI research just produces papers and nothing to attract the public's interest. Considering how much more money is being invested in nonfriendly AI than Friendly AI we think it would be worth spending some money on Interactive Friendly AI so we could 1) get the public's interest and hopefully encourage more Friendly AI interest/research 2) help develop algorithms that will be applicable to future Friendly AI efforts.
Our project has dual goals: 1) education, for making a chatbot aimed at clarifying what the risks and benefits of AI are, and discussing the various approaches to them and related considerations, dispelling misconceptions, etc. 2) beefing up the directedness and credibility of the actual research to actually make an AI friendly.
We plan on spending half of our funding on each goal. Why have dual goals? Because goal #2 is more difficult and we wish to guarantee that the project will be at least partially successful. Note that we will have different people working on each goal so there will be less temptation to take shortcuts on the research front for goal #2.
Our overall plan for developing Interactive Friendly AI is that all of our efforts will be put into the development of a chatbot that is only able to converse about Friendly AI subjects. To make the chatbot worth interacting with to the public, we will have the chatbot fall back to one of the world's best chatbots for general questions. We have spoken to the people behind the Loebner Prize Winner 2013 and they have agreed to do this.
We will develop multiple Friendly AI engines to converse about Friendly AI subjects. While at least one of these engines will be based on AIML 2.0 or ChatScript, we will also work on engines based on goal directed agency, autonomous decision making, semantic comprehension, ability for self-modification, etc. It is hoped that the fairly narrow focus of the Friendly AI engines will make it easier to experiment with advanced AI methods. Users will be given the choice to pick which of our Friendly AI engines that they wish to chat with.
Key goals within the Friendly AI engine architecture will be to develop empathy and to build datasets that demonstrate that a peaceful cooperative world is better than a hostile violent world. It is hoped that all of our Friendly AI engine efforts will contain useful algorithms for these key goals. (So these algorithms could be used by more advanced programs in the future...)
We plan on continuing to work on this project even after FLI funding is used up as we think that a world with Friendly AI is an important objective to try to achieve. We, of course, wouldn't mind additional funding in the future if FLI is happy with our progress after a year has passed.
We have a lot of top scientists at and will work to solicit their help on our Friendly AI engines and improve them over time.


Read the report "Planetary Defense: Operations & Execution" at

Blog Contest

We are launching a blog contest! Anyone who posts to our blog gets a chance to win a signed copy of "The Utopia Experiment" which tells the true story of a real-life attempt to simulate life after the collapse of global civilization. Learn about "The Utopia Experiment" at
The deadline for the contest is February 28. If you need access to our blog, send an email with the subject of "Lifeboat Foundation blog" to [email protected].


Seth Cochran joins our blog team with the post "Doomsday Clock Now Three Minutes to Midnight" at
Other recent interesting blog posts include:
"Bitcoin is just the first app to use blockchain technology (Understanding the value of the blockchain above and beyond bitcoin)" by Rob Chamberlain at
"Bitcoin Will End the Nation State" by Travis Patron at
"Black Phosphorus: The Birth of a New Wonder Material" by Seb at
"Coinbase releases first licensed US Bitcoin exchange; Winklevoss twins gear up to do the same" by Chris Evans at
"Cutting Edge Microsoft HoloLens is an Augmented Virtual Reality Computer for Your Face" by Seb at
"Dr. Aubrey de Grey: When Do You Want to Die?" by Johnny Boston at
"Dr. Ken Hayworth, Part 3: If we can build a brain, what is the future of I?" by Johnny Boston at
"Elon Musk Donates $10 Million to Protect the World From AI" by Seb at
"First Robotics--Who Are the Celebrities of the Future?" by Johnny Boston at
"IBM Reveals Proof of Concept for Blockchain-Powered Internet of Things" by Rob Chamberlain at
"An Internet of Treacherous Things" by Seb at
"Legal Consulting Firm Believes Artificial Intelligence Could Replace Lawyers by 2030" by Rob Chamberlain at
"Tech giants quietly investing in Synthetic Biology" by Seb at
"Who is FM2030?" by Johnny Boston at

Growing Membership

Recent donations/pledges we have received since our last newsletter:
Willard H. Wells: $500, Humberto Castaneda: $200, Anonymous: $160, John Ratnaswamy: $100, Michael Dickey: $85, Sergio M.L. Tarrero: $85, Philippe Van Nedervelde: $85, Kenneth P. Weiss: $85, Tihamer 'Tee' Toth-Fejel: $50, Charles V. Weir: $50, Sam Gutterman: $25, Matthew L. McGuirl: $25, Joanne Pransky: $25, David Weiss: $25, Jeffrey L. Simmons: $15, Rebecca R. Cooper: $10, Thomas Dolphin: $10, Alexander Macrae: $10, Aaron Mayzes: $10, Philip Morehead: $10, Elizabeth Parrish: $10, Roland Schiefer: $10, Kelley White-Ricks: $10, My Books: $5, and Remote Warehouse: $5.
Our Join Us page at now allows you to pay for your membership anywhere from monthly to every ten years.