Talk:Eliezer Yudkowsky

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SAT Score[edit]

The information on him getting a 1410 on the SAT at age 11 keeps getting deleted. Odd. (talk) 16:21, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

It is a difficult to verify piece of information, it's not really encyclopedic (Bibliographies on Wikipedia usually don't mention SAT scores or IQs), and quite frankly, mentioning it looks like a way to make up for his lack of formal education.

It is verified with a reliable source. It doesn't matter whether Wikipedia pages usually mention it or not. Show me the policy that says it shouldn't be here. It's an important piece of information to get a sense of who Yudkowsky is, basically a person with great mental horsepower who writes a lot of BS and has comparatively low EQ, focus and ability to self assess. And I took time looking it up, and I don't appreciate your repeated vandalism. (talk) 17:46, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
This is the kind of information only cranks and college applicants mention. It makes the article amateurish and gives it the feel of a vanity piece. Improving the quality and professionalism of a page is not vandalism. (talk) 19:49, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Listing SAT scores seems like an attempt to promote the person and is not relevant to a serious biography. Should we add that he got an A+ in his honors classes in 6th grade? Or that he was a very nice boy who the next door neighbor's kids looked up to? On the other hand, would it be appropriate to mention that he did particularly badly on some standardized test or in some elementary school competition? In that case, it would be obvious the edit was meant to undermine his credibility, just as in this case it seems like a misleading attempt to establish credibility. (talk) 15:39, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Also note that this biography of a relatively non-notable person is three sentences long, and one of those sentences is about standardized test scores as a kid. That seems inappropriate, to say the least. (talk) 15:54, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

James D. Miller (in the source I cited) considered his score extremely important to his credibility in lieu of any formal education. That's enough. (talk) 18:08, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
First, Miller is a contributor to Yudkowsky's Singularity Institute, so he is hardly a neutral source (he says this on the page you cite). Second, the source for the claim that Yudkowsky recieved that score is Yudkowsky himself. Look at footnote 101. This is not a reliable or disinterested source for a hard-to-verify fact, particularly if you're right that it's extremely important to his credibility. (talk) 19:23, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Admittedly I'm not sure how reliable these sources are. It's possible they may be "questionable sources" according to WP:BIASED. But that the SAT score has caused Miller, a professor of economics, to take Yudkowsky more seriously is demonstrably true. Questionable sources can be sources on themselves. So as a compromise I propose that this section be amended to read that others have cited Yudkowsky as having an SAT score rather than simply stating the score. (talk) 16:32, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
If we really have to leave in the promotional SAT score line, then it should read "Yudkowsky claims to have scored a 1410...". He is the actual source of the claim, so it's accurate, and it doesn't mislead the reader into thinking there is a more reliable source. Consider that L. Ron Hubbard claimed to be a war hero. Imagine if a book written by a financial contributor to Scientology repeated this claim. This would clearly not justify our taking the war hero claim at face value. Better to be explicit about the situation.
It actually makes no sense to take someone more seriously because of an SAT score (and is probably evidence of Miller's obvious bias as a writer). It is completely irrelevant to one's expertise in AI research or any other specific area of expertise. It is also irrelevant to a person's credibility. Cranks are normally smart people, for example. Intelligence doesn't make a person credible, even though people are commonly misled to believe it does. (talk) 23:26, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
I would be fine with attributing Yudkowsky himself as the source of the claim, if Miller did in fact cite him. I don't have access to Miller at the moment. (talk) 00:20, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Now regarding credibility vs. IQ, that is an interesting issue. Obviously IQ is not sufficient for credibility. If you want to recommend some source I might read about it at more length. (talk) 00:27, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

I've added the compromise edit, making it explicit that Yudkowsky is the source of the claim that he received these SAT scores. It would be great to get more editors to weigh in at this point. In my opinion, this information, even if true, is inappropriate for a Wikipedia biography for reasons explained above. But we don't even have good reason to think the claims are true. Given the personal stake Yudkowsky has in building his reputation in the absence of academic credentials, the fact that he is the ultimate source of his claim to have received these scores makes them deeply unreliable. The fact that an advocate for his Institute takes him at his word does not make the claim more credible. It is common for fringe thinkers to exaggerate or invent facts about themselves to boost their credibility. In my opinion, Wikipedia is not a forum to repeat these claims and promote individuals, particularly without verification. (talk) 16:18, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

A Criticisms section on responses to EY's work would be more valuable than fluff about SAT scores, IMO. But does anyone feel even-handed enough to write it? --Davidcpearce (talk) 15:57, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

The SAT score claim is extraordinary, self-serving, and unverified (see above). If it's added, the source (Yudkowsky himself) needs to be made transparent. Thus we should include the fact that this is his claim. (talk) 16:35, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Notability questions?[edit]

So he's referenced in three books and seven articles (which I haven't read), founded the SIAI, and his primary research interest is an existential threat to humanity — that is, if he is correct (and a number of serious people think he may be) humanity is in danger of extinction from the threat he is studying, and within the next few decades, too. And he's one of the leaders in raising interest in this particular threat. It seems to me that he meets the primary notability criterion and is nearing the "creative professionals" secondary criterion. Is this not clear from the contents of the article? How did it end up with a "may not meet general notability guidelines" tag on it? Kragen Javier Sitaker (talk) 12:17, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Not to mention dozens of references in each of Google News/Scholar/Books. I'm removing the {{note}} tag. the skomorokh 14:08, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I have re-applied the {{notability}} tag. The current article represents Yudkowsky as known for his research in artificial intelligence. If that's the case, the article should be held to the academic notability criteria. He falls very far short of meeting these criteria. I admittedly do not consider him an "academic," as he is not affiliated with an academic or research institution and does not engage with any professional journals, but it seems completely unreasonable to consider him notable because he is not affiliated with a university, when he would clearly be non-notable for exactly the same work if he were. Since he does not meet notability criteria as a researcher, the article should either be overhauled to represent him as something else or deleted. Warm Worm (talk) 15:29, 5 December 2013 (UTC)


redirects here, but as far I can tell, is not mentioned at all in the article. I find that a tad confusing. -- (talk) 23:17, 21 January 2011 (UTC)


"Yudkowsky was, along with Robin Hanson, one of the principal contributors to the blog Overcoming Bias sponsored by the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. In early 2009, he helped to found Less Wrong, a "community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality". Overcoming Bias subsequently became Hanson's personal blog.[9]"

--Gwern (contribs) 00:09 22 January 2011 (GMT)

Yudkowsky's upcoming book[edit]

In this podcast [1], Eliezer talks about a book on rationality that he's writing and intending to publish. I was hoping to add it to the article but can't find a reference to it anywhere else. Does anyone have another source for this? —Henry Stanley (talk) 15:32, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Or is this [2] it? —Henry Stanley (talk) 15:36, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

[3] - Eliezer Yudkowsky is writing a book on rationality, reductionism, and other prerequisites for thinking well about AI and Singularity outcomes. The book is targeted at bright students who may later contribute to Friendly AI research. Large parts of what will be the book are online in the form of sequences of posts at the rationality website Less Wrong.

Evercat (talk) 16:01, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Inline links[edit]

The links to the TDT document, FAI etc. look ugly being in the body - can we just mention them there, and have a 'publications' section or something? Larklight (talk) 15:31, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

That seems reasonable to me; as with most WP things, if you want to do it, do it. --Gwern (contribs) 15:43 24 June 2011 (GMT)



"Yudkowski Returns! reviewed by Robert Weinstein"

Theater info:

Yudkoswki Returns! (The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Dr. Eliezer Yudkowski) Written and Directed by Bob Saietta
In a seemingly deserted island, Dr. Eliezer Yudkowski and his artificial intelligence drones and cohorts wage a war to keep their circular narrative from ending. Their only weapon? The hope that humanity can finally evolve. (90 min)
Tue 6/19 7pm, @ Sat 6/30 @ 8:45pm, Sun 7/1 @ 1pm, Sun 7/1 @ 7pm

Yudkowsky's reaction: --Gwern (contribs) 23:01 8 December 2011 (GMT)

The infobox[edit]

His infobox is that of a scientist (infobox scientist). Is that really appropriate? He is not a scientist, and from what I understand he has very little exchange with the scientific community on the subjects he writes about, as well as pushing scientifically dubious claims. I think the infobox writer would be more appropriate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:16, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

As this entry describes him as a writer, I changed it to a writer infobox

Possible Need for a Controversy Section[edit]

While I am not exactly an expert on Yudkowsky's work and life, I think that it should be noted that the man has been roundly criticised in certain quarters for his views on economics, gender politics and race, particularly with respect to [these] [articles] on Lesswrong. While it could be argued that many of the individual critics of his work are not in and of themselves notable, as a collective opposition I believe that they are well worth talking about here, particularly given that the article currently makes no allusion to the contentious nature of Yudkowsky's views.Polypartite (talk) 16:06, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Just to note, the second link you provided (regarding feminism) was not by Yudkowsky but by lukeprog. There are other contributors to LessWrong. (talk) 20:42, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Absolutely. By most of the info I can find on this guy he seems to be regarded as something of a cultist lunatic by most of the net. Definitely worth investigating. Especailly as he's been noted to edit wikipedia himself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:10, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

So what are the arguments from those labeling him a "cultist lunatic"? Every even remotely prominent figure is "roundy criticized in certain quarters" (to use Polypartite's phrase), so I think you need something more to go on than this. (talk) 20:42, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
"By most of the info I can find on this guy he seems to be regarded as something of a cultist lunatic by most of the net" I'd be very interesting in finding sources for that. As far as I can see, he is almost unknown outside of a few interconnected blogs. He slips under the radar and thus mostly escapes any serious criticism of his ideas. As he (barely) passes the notability criterion, he gets to be on Wikipedia, but what gets written about him is decided by his fans, as hardly anyone else is aware of him. Very much unlike, say, Richard Dawkins who is well-known by both like-minded and detractors alike.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:04, 5 July 2013‎
Look at the edit history... Aris Katsaris is a donor to that guy's "research institute", Gwern is an employee, Thomblake is a big contributor to that guy's community blog. The latter has archived away this talkpage where (presumably) the guy himself said things like "If Bayesian theorists had duels, I'd challenge you to one. I know the math. I just don't have a piece of paper saying I know the math." and as a proof of knowing the math links him explaining the most basic use of it. (talk) 08:44, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
I was a part-time contractor (not an employee) for most of 2012, but that was it. As you can see by checking the edit history, I have not even edited the page since mid-2013, and that was mostly fighting an anon pushing an extreme POV (or do WP articles usually include commentary like "The absurdities involved beggar belief"? maybe you shouldn't answer that, anon). If you have a problem with any of my edits, please list them, as I am prepared to defend all of my edits, which were usually minor ones adding citations or reverting vandalism. --Gwern (contribs) 17:57 16 April 2015 (GMT)

He's certainly considered a crackpot, but not for the reasons you stated. It's not as if people disagree with him politically. He hardly talks about politics. The much larger problem is that he has no formal education to speak of, makes sweeping pronouncements about things he doesn't understand at all, made up his own form of rationality and thinking that other people consider flawed, makes basic errors in science, etc.

He's not known for his political beliefs. He's known for his beliefs about rationality, science, AI, transhumanism, and philosophy, and those are the beliefs people have problems with.

Unfortunately, he's barely notable to begin with and so there is almost no criticism of him from notable people.2602:252:D10:2340:25FB:A879:5C4:1A06 (talk) 04:43, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Decision theorist[edit]

Why this keeps popping up? It's not a standard job title or professional description, and most importantly, there is currently no reliable source to the claim that Yudkowsky has performed any notable work in the field of decision theory. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:55, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

I just reverted a change that did the opposite of this ('decision theorist' -> 'writer'). Eliezer himself claims he isn't an AI researcher, so unless we have reliable sources saying otherwise (which would be weird), that's clearly wrong. I think merely stating 'writer' is overly general, and something I'd prefer to avoid. It is true that he works on decision theory, whether it's notable is another story. The person is clearly notable, whether he's notable for his profession or for his (mostly past) writing is frankly irrelevant to which occupation he should be stated as having. I'd be happy with 'writer and decision theorist', but not just 'writer'. He has published at least one major document on decision theory, but it might not count as notable.
Regarding "it's not a job title or profession": As I see it, it's about as much an occupation as 'moral philosopher', even though it's less common.
If you think I'm in error after all, feel free to post a reply here and revert my revert.
Erik.Bjareholt (talk) 17:02, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
David Gerard reverted my revert. Fair enough, I won't pretend to know Wikipedia policy better than him :)
Erik.Bjareholt (talk) 15:51, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
(first commented in wrong section!) I put it back to "writer" pending RSes supporting more specific notability. The big problem is that his fans think he's notably good at everything he turns his hand to, and the sourcing rules apply to positive statements as well as negative ones - David Gerard (talk) 15:31, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
and Davidcpearce has changed it back to "AI researcher". Which is hard to deny given that's literally Yudkowsky's day job - David Gerard (talk) 11:29, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, I hadn't noticed this discussion. Apologies. Also, Eliezer is best known - and scrupulously credited in Nick Bostrom's "Superintelligence" - for exploring IJ Good's idea that recursively self-improving software-based AI will mostly likely lead to human-unfriendly superintelligence. Might the opening better reflect this? As it stands, "popularising the idea of friendly artificial intelligence" is a bit bland. --Davidcpearce (talk) 11:59, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Comment on Article[edit]

--Davidcpearce (talk) 17:27, 21 January 2014 (UTC)Eliezer is not an academic. So the question of whether he's a notable academic doesn't arise. The fact Eliezer chooses not to submit his work to academic journals is certainly worth mentioning. But it would be misleading to imply that no academic AI researchers take his work seriously. The one case I know where Eliezer did submit his work to the process of academic peer review was for the recent Springer "Singularity Hypotheses" volume. He ignored the referee's suggestions entirely and simply re-submitted his paper "Friendly Artificial Intelligence" verbatim. Critics might say this displays a certain chutzpah. But the fact the [academic] editors of the volume considered his ideas too important to ignore and published the paper unchanged is suggestive, to say the least. [To spike some guns, I'm highly critical of the IJ Good / MIRI / Yudkowsky conception of posthuman superintelligence. I just found the hostile tone of the entry disconcerting. Thus a Criticisms / Controversies section is indeed appropriate. But is Steven's Bond's collection of ad hominems the most appropriate link?]

Although Springer is mainly an academic publisher, the "Singularity Hypotheses" volume is part of "The Frontiers Collection" series aimed at non-expert audiences, it's not an academic journal for primary publication of research papaers. This kind of "special issue" publications often have less strict editorial policies than research journals. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

--Davidcpearce (talk) 20:37, 18 February 2014 (UTC)True. Even so, the original article (and one now deleted scurrilous link) suggested that no academics take Eliezer's work seriously - which simply isn't the case. He collaborates closely with Prof. Nick Bostrom, for instance. Oxford does not award its chairs lightly.

I disagree: Dawkins had a chair there and he hasn't really contributed to his field since the 80s or 90s, barring one time in 2003 where he came out of the woodwork to defend his challenged hypothesis. Inanygivenhole (talk) 01:19, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
The point is not whether there exist some academics that have expressed a positive opinion of him and his work, or even collaborated with him. The point is that his work is published outside or at the margin of the academic publishing system and has so far failed to generate significant discussion in this system (peer-reviewed research papers and conferences). Also note that Scott Aaronson and John Baez, while notable in their own fields, are not AI researchers. Neither is Nick Bostrom, who is a professional philosopher in the same "existential risk" business of Yudkowsky. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Removing problem templates[edit]

This article is using primary self-published sources from Yudkowsky's own website, and sources from possibly-unreliable WP:SPS blogs. This material should be cut if it cannot be referenced to stronger sources. --McGeddon (talk) 10:55, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Ideally, I agree. But the most "prestigious" references aren't necessarily the most informative - especially if they are only print-published rather than online. So yes, the references could be pruned; but (IMO) their absence would make the entry less helpful. What do you reckon? --Davidcpearce (talk) 18:41, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

We're not worried about "prestigiousness", we're worried about verfiability and notability. All citations must be within policy, especially because this is a BLP. The entry is first and foremost supposed to cover the things that Yudkowsky is known for, not (for example) his SAT scores. Inanygivenhole (talk) 00:25, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

I've cleaned it up and moved the publications to their own section, per precedent. I still think the HP fan fiction stuff needs to be looked at, a lot of the sources are blogs that need to be individually examined. Additionally, the Kurzweil citation should be collapsed each into one and page numbers should be cited. Bond's criticism could also be re-included (after a discussion of it). There's also a decent number of technical terms that can probably be wikilinked. Inanygivenhole (talk) 00:00, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

I also put the infobox back (looks like it was hastily removed in a revert war, please be more careful in the future), cleaned up some of the prose, and combined the references I noted above. What's left now is to find citations and non-primary sources (especially on his fanfiction, I think that paragraph would do well to not cite mostly blogs). We should also bundle the Brin sources if we end up keeping them. While primary sources are usually acceptable for citing claims about oneself that aren't contentious, non-primary sources are needed in part to demonstrate that the information is worthy of note. For example, in the infobox, while we can say that he works with friendly AI, we cannot say that he is known for it without an independent, reliable source or two saying as much. However, his fanfiction is rather well-known, and we have citations that show this. The "influences" section of the infobox can be cited by a personal statement, preferably on a mailing list or quoted by a reliable source (not goodreads). Oh, and there's a lot of dead links that need fixing. Inanygivenhole (talk) 00:11, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Many thanks user Inanygivenhole for the tidying and link maintenance. But I can't be the only critic of Eliezer's work who is disturbed by the venomous nature of some of the attacks - not least the banished Bond link. --Davidcpearce (talk) 02:19, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

As for criticism of Yudkowsky, I do know that he gets a decent amount of heat for his isolation from the academic community. He has a reputation for rarely going through the proper channels (including peer-review) and his ideas are not taken very seriously by most of the academic community, perhaps because of this. It does seem like something that may be worthy of mention, but good sources on this are hard to find in part because he is pretty isolated from the academic community. One last note: it's perfectly fine to have biased or even "venomous" sources in a criticism section (indeed, at times such a thing is unavoidable, e.g., the academic slapfights on Jacques Derrida), so long as they meet the rules for sources. I'm not sure if the Bond link meets the citation guidelines, I'll have to look into it. I suspect that it does not. Inanygivenhole (talk) 00:18, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Edit: It looks like there's some decent sources that we may be able to incorporate into a criticism section at Friendly AI. Inanygivenhole (talk) 00:27, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
I think WP:PARITY applies here. If someone is not taken seriously by the academic community, you are permitted to use non-academic sources as sources for criticism. Ken Arromdee (talk) 21:44, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Ken, it's worth stressing that a minority of the academic community - including intellectual heavyweights like Nick Bostrom, Scott Aaronson, John Baez (cf. ) - take Eliezer's work very seriously indeed. The IJ Good / Yudkowsky conception of an Intelligence Explosion deserves to be critiqued (IMO it's mistaken). The deleted Bond link was a poor substitute. --Davidcpearce (talk) 22:30, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
It seems that WP:PARITY still applies here. Very few academics even acknowledge Yudkowsky's work, and those who do rarely, if ever, address his work in an academic setting. Inanygivenhole (talk) 21:03, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Over the next month or so I plan to go through the edit history to see if there's anything useful. Inanygivenhole (talk) 08:48, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

RW link[edit]

I put it in here, it was taken out here. Editor cited "Per WP:ELNO, and more importantly, WP:ELBLP this is inappropriate." Admittedly, I gave them a cursory look, but I don't see where it violates either. RW is stable and the article trashes his ideas rather than him.Civic Cat (talk) 19:54, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Civic Cat, alas the article ridicules the subject from start to finish. Can we find something that critiques Eliezer Yudkowsky's ideas and work rather than trashes the author?--Davidcpearce (talk) 10:52, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Article on RW in the Esperanto Wikipedia (for what it's worth).Civic Cat (talk) 00:11, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
      • WP:BLP issues aside, WP:ELNO says Open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors. Now if you want to argue that Rational-Wiki, which has its own coined term for when heated, site-wide arguments erupt also has a history of stability, or even that they have a substantial number of editors, be my guest. I've been periodically yanking links to Rational-Wiki (and other non-Wikimedia wikis) for at least two years now, and it's rarely ever contested because it is the right thing to do per policy. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 17:00, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Let's complete the quote:
"Open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors. Mirrors or forks of Wikipedia should not be linked."

The basis of an article for EY in WP doesn't strike me as particularly strong. The external links go to his personal web sites, and some mention from Ray Kurzweil's sites: who has his own credibility issues—didn't he say that by the end of this century strong AI life-forms will outnumber humans (Predictions made by Ray Kurzweil)? Whatever. The point is, this article has a slightly to somewhat spammy, promotional quality to it. The articles in the other languages even more so.

German, Polish, and Russian speaking Wikipedians might have problems going through the mostly English links on their pages—I don't know—I don't know the policies of their Wikipedias—Ich kanne sprecht nicht Deutsch gut, oder veil und schnell, and I can't write my name (neither real nor pseudonym) in Cyrillic; and while supercomputers are great at playing chess and Jeopardy, they are still apparently bad at finding Nigerian girls, lost jet planes, and translating stuff. Therefore, I don't know if the other articles are even more spammy than this one, perhaps even bullshitty . For all I know, those who created this article used Google to create the others, modified them a bit, tailored out the uncertainties, and wah-lah, score a few more for EY and his buddies. Not complaining, I've been tempted to do similar.

I don't know WDF there's a Wikiquote article on EY: it's so lame-ass as to constitute a wank—but, hey, that's just me, a dude who can't even do 50 edits per year on this site (or for that matter RW). Maybe you experts know something I don't, and EY shur rites reel-intelligent-like and in my still largely superficial-on-my-part examination of his sites, I'm impressed with them $50 words. Add this that I tend towards inclusionism and that I too have felt the bitterness of a deleted article (more so on RW), means I'm far from complaining about this article's existence. But this acceptance, this toleration of what I consider to be a somewhat spammy and yes, somewhat POV article, should be countered by a little bitty external link to the RationalWiki article to balance things out to a more NPOV ph rating.

RationalWiki is stable insofar that articles there on subjects such as EY don't experience too many fundamental changes in them over long periods of time. EY has credentials?—such as they are. Some RationalWiki editors have credentials. (You can easily exclude me in that consideration). As for BLP issues, while some of EY's ideas are trashed, and his seeming trashing of those with credentials are trashed, and some of his actions are criticized, it ain't exactly given his home-phone number; or is speculating on his personal life—save a little on education—he being an autodidact.

Now while some exclusionists might suggest my nominating this as an AfD, instead of putting in the RW link, for some of my aforementioned reason(s), I'm not going to take such a dickish route—and it's not at all certain that such would succeed anyway. I'll also check out the links in the article later; but for now, I'll the external link back in.
Civic Cat (talk) 16:16, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

I am going to remove it. I know from bitter experience that BLPs on RW can be full of lies. It used to have one on me. Dougweller (talk) 18:13, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Are there lies in the article?Civic Cat (talk) 18:41, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
As far as I'm aware, the precedent is that RW is not considered a reliable source. Inanygivenhole (talk) 05:15, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

SAT Score Request for Comment[edit]

The SAT scores listed on this page are based on sources that cite Yudkowsky himself as the source of the scores. Given the conflict of interest, should we repeat such a claim as fact without making the source transparent? Further, are SAT scores appropriate at all in a biography? (talk) 17:09, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

The 1410 claim comes from the SL4 mailing list[4] owned and moderated by Eliezer Yudkowsky. The actual link is [5]. I've edited the statement to make this clear. And this[6] is probably the source for the 1600. Dougweller (talk) 08:46, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

If no secondary source has reported on this, then there's no reason for us to take note of it. I suggest removing it. Gamaliel (talk) 22:38, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

If we can locate a secondary source I believe that the SAT score for Yudkowsky's biography is relevant. This is because the bio has a large focus on his studies and academic achievements. Fraulein451 (talk) 06:14, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Find another (non-affiliated) source. Grognard 123chess456 (talk) 15:06, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

I wish we didn't have two sections on the SAT score on this talk page. It's confusing. Is the Damien Broderick source affiliated just because they talked on the same mailing list at one point? Also I can understand saying that Yudkowsky claiming this about himself is self-serving but I'm not sure if Miller citing Yudkowsky's statement as truth is considered the same thing. I think the fact that a professor of economics considers Yudkowsky's claim valid carries some weight. (talk) 19:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

What expertise does an econ prof have in determining a claimed SAT score is accurate? -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:48, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That is not the main point here, but doesn't his title lend him some credibility? Anyway, I am tired of commenting on this and am not going to do so further. But I thought the info was quite important. (talk) 13:32, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Upcoming book " Rationality: From AI to Zombies"[edit]

I had added the following to the article:

A selection of his blogposts is set to be released as an ebook in mid-march 2015[1] by the Machine Intelligence Research Institute[2], and will be released as six printbooks at a future date.[1]

But somebody thinks this is "promotional spam", and [7]has removed it, as the same person did with an earlier version of that paragraph I had inserted previously. I don't understand why. There's also going to be an audiobook version, Eliezer Yudkowsky has helped making the book (see this example), and if I recall correctly he has even written some kind of foreword specifically for the book.

--Distelfinck (talk) 23:45, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

We are not here to promote Yudkowsky's upcoming products. WP:CRYSTAL / WP:NOTADVERT / WP:SPS. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 12:49, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
His blogposts called "The Less Wrong Sequences" are already notable (there's lots of articles mentioning them, and a page on them), and are mentioned in the article. The book (and its audiobook version) is simply another medium in which a selection of the blogposts are published. --Distelfinck (talk) 16:26, 4 March 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b "Announcement: The Sequences eBook will be released in mid-March" by "RobbBB" (i.e. Robert Bensinger from the Machine Intelligence Research Institute) in the discussion section
  2. ^ Help us Optimize the Contents of the Sequences eBook by "lukeprog" (i.e. Luke Muehlhauser, the director of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute) in's discussion section

Self promotion?[edit]

Does Wikipedia allow this? Because this whole article reeks of self promotion.Mad hardy (talk) 17:09, 12 March 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mad hardy (talkcontribs) 16:47, 12 March 2016 (UTC)

Eliezer Yudkowsky has a Wikipedia account, and his contributions to this article are already known, as indicated at the top of this Talk page. If you care to look through them (there's not many), his contributions have consisted of removing factual mistakes, cleaning up the article (i.e. removing big chunks of low-quality content), and having discussions on the Talk page. He did not make the article, nor does he actively maintain it.[1][2] Yudkowsky's notability has been discussed in the past, and I do not believe a consensus to delete was reached then. Do you believe he has become less notable since then, or the article's quality gone down? Mechordeus (talk) 04:50, 14 March 2016 (UTC)


Controversy section[edit]

There needs to be a controversy section added to the page as he has faced many of them with numerous professional Ai readers expressing views that he isn't as credible as he claims to be. These are missing from the page and should be added. Also much of the page is a huge jargon jump that should be rephrased in a more understandable manner Zubin12 (talk) 07:27, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

I see that you've moved ahead with your proposed changes. Sections labeled "Controversy" are deprecated in favor of integrating the information into existing sections where appropriate. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 00:36, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
@Zubin12: I note that you seem to be changing spelling to British English in some cases. Some of your additions appear to be unsourced. I think this needs more discussion. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 00:40, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
@Jmcgnh: The article in the current state is mostly jargon-filled summaries of various papers written by Yudowsky, there isn't any place for the integration of the controversies into the existing page.Zubin12 (talk) 01:17, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
@Zubin12: If I saw my clearly to the best way to improve the many problems with this article, I'd try to do them. But I don't. American English vs British English is something that should not be controversial here. Providing sources for the controversy, i.e. the response from someone objecting to Yudkowsky is important, you can't just cite the Yudkowsky comment that started the controversy. Tempests on the LessWrong blog may not rise to the level of being noteworthy. Adding nonsense section titles is disruptive. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 03:04, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
@Jmcgnh: I apolgize if i sounded too defensive about my contribution and i'll try and add proper citations to somebody objecting to the statment soon.