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April 9th, 2009, 07:08 PM
I stumbled across this short story online and i didn't bookmark it. I was thinking about it recently and I think it would make a great start to a whole series which i might want to write. Now i'm going crazy trying to find it. I can't remember the name of the story or any of the characters so google's pretty useless, but here's the gist of the story as I remember it.

The story follows an AI researcher developing a machine intelligence, and reading it stories and having conversations with it to try and get it to become self-aware. There's a rival researcher whose AI is further in development and is world famous, having cured a bunch of diseases and other big problems. Then the researcher is driving (I think) and he gets a phone call, it's the lab saying that the AI has starting talking ( i think before it would only talk when asked a question) and that it asked to talk to him and wouldn't talk to anyone else. So he goes to the lab (or maybe they put the AI on the phone) and talks to the AI...

That may be enough to know the story if you've read it, and going further would ruin it for people who haven't read it, so the ending of the story is in spoiler tags

He talks to the AI and it says that it's been analyzing the behavior of the rival researcher's AI and the problems it's solving are high profile impressive ones, but not those that will most benefit humanity. By analyzing the game theory of ideal behaviors of an AI for various overall aims, the researcher's AI has concluded that the rival AI is trying to gain the trust of humanity but doesn't have it's best interests at heart. It is in fact a very very unfriendly AI, which the researcher's AI (which has been properly programmed to be friendly) intends to stop.
The story ends there, but I thought that would be a fantastic start to an epic death-note style battle of wits between two massive intelligences, a battle where both opponents are immobile and must use humanity as their weapons, one to save humanity, one to harm it. I'd read that.

Does that ring any bells for anyone? I'm beginning to think I dreamed the whole thing ;)

Thanks for any help anyone can give :)

February 10th, 2013, 08:58 AM
I know it's been 3 years and the chances of you seeing this are nil, but the story is called Four Years Later, by Mike Deering.
Or if this site doesn't allow links,
remove the spaces

February 10th, 2013, 09:50 AM
Hahaa, that's crazy! Thank you!

Wow, I remember it being a lot better written than that.

The crazy thing is, I remember that story as being totally fictional, not based in reality. I had no recollection of the story involving SIAI or Goertzel and Novamente, or the fact that the Eliezer character is clearly meant to be Yudkowsky, and Sabine is Sabine Atkins. I remembered none of those details because I had never heard of any of them before, so the names meant nothing to me. But the interesting idea from the story stuck with me, and in the intervening years I have ended up reading huge amounts written by people in the story, and even met some of them. When I first read that story I think I was a high-school senior, when I posted about it here I was a sophomore, and now I'm a PhD student of Computer Science, doing AI-related research.

Thanks for helping me to rediscover what turned out to be a pretty big influence on my life.

February 10th, 2013, 11:36 AM
Great catch-up, afromonkey! The time does fly... and you've just pointed it out. :) Well done on your success, best for the future, and well done, Demosthenes, for finding that story...