The first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control.

— Nick Bostrom

The most revolutionary Nick Bostrom quotes that will add value to your life

Are you living in a computer simulation?


Knowledge about limitations of your data collection process affects what inferences you can draw from the data.


We should not be confident in our ability to keep a super-intelligent genie locked up in its bottle forever.


Far from being the smartest possible biological species, we are probably better thought of as the stupidest possible biological species capable of starting a technological civilization - a niche we filled because we got there first, not because we are in any sense optimally adapted to it.


Human nature is a work in progress.


Had Mother Nature been a real parent, she would have been in jail for child abuse and murder.


The Internet is a big boon to academic research.

Gone are the days spent in dusty library stacks digging for journal articles. Many articles are available free to the public in open-access journal or as preprints on the authors' website.


For healthy adult people, the really big thing we can foresee are ways of intervening in the ageing process, either by slowing or reversing it.


It’s unlikely that any of those natural hazards will do us in within the next 100 years if we’ve already survived 100,000. By contrast, we are introducing, through human activity, entirely new types of dangers by developing powerful new technologies. We have no record of surviving those.


The cognitive functioning of a human brain depends on a delicate orchestration of many factors, especially during the critical stages of embryo development-and it is much more likely that this self-organizing structure, to be enhanced, needs to be carefully balanced, tuned, and cultivated rather than simply flooded with some extraneous potion.


You can engineer a prairie vole to become monogamous when it's naturally polygamous. It's just a single gene. Might be more complicated in humans, but perhaps not that much.


Our approach to existential risks cannot be one of trial-and-error.

There is no opportunity to learn from errors. The reactive approach - see what happens, limit damages, and learn from experience - is unworkable. Rather, we must take a proactive approach. This requires foresight to anticipate new types of threats and a willingness to take decisive preventive action and to bear the costs (moral and economic) of such actions.


About Nick Bostrom

Quotes 19 sayings
Profession Philosopher
Birthday October 16

There are some problems that technology can't solve.


How can we trace out the links between actions that people take today and really long-term outcomes for humanity - outcomes that stretch out indefinitely into the future? I call this effort macrostrategy - that is, to think about the really big strategic situation for having a positive impact on the long-term future. There's the butterfly effect: A small change in an initial condition could have arbitrarily large consequences.


When we are headed the wrong way, the last thing we need is progress.


Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make.


The challenge presented by the prospect of superintelligence, and how we might best respond is quite possibly the most important and most daunting challenge humanity has ever faced. And-whether we succeed or fail-it is probably the last challenge we will ever face.


We would want the solution to the safety problem before somebody figures out the solution to the AI problem.

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