December 12, 2023

Beyond Intelligence: The Moral Imperative of Cultivating Wisdom for Artificial General Intelligence


In a thought-provoking presentation, the speaker delves into the inadequacies of intelligence when it comes to rationality. Drawing on research and pertinent examples, the argument is made that artificial general intelligence (AGI) requires something beyond mere intelligence – it needs wisdom.

Intelligence, Rationality, and Self-Deception

The speaker first sets the stage by discussing the limitations of intelligence when it comes to rationality. Despite intelligence being an essential component of problem-solving and decision-making, the argument is made that when taken to its extreme, intelligence can lead to self-deception. This leads to the conclusion that AGI, if solely focused on boosting intelligence, may risk being highly intelligent yet self-deceptive.

Building AGI and the Moral Imperative

The discussion then turns to strategies for creating AGI, including enhanced capacity for information selection, self-organizing processing, and the use of multiple machines with conflicting competencies. It is asserted that these strategies, while crucial for enhancing AGI, also increase the potential for self-deception. The speaker argues that there is a moral imperative to integrate the development of artificial rationality alongside AGI, emphasizing the need for wisdom in the development of these intelligent systems.

Overcoming Self-Deception with Wisdom

The presentation then delves into the concept of wisdom as a means to overcome self-deception and avoid moral dangers associated with AGI. The argument is made that wisdom, unlike mere intelligence, involves acquiring different cognitive styles for different kinds of knowing, optimizing the relationship between these styles, and ultimately transcending self-deception. The speaker emphasizes that developing wisdom is essential to address the moral dangers of highly intelligent, yet self-deceptive machines.


The speaker concludes with a powerful statement, asserting that artificial general intelligence without wisdom is morally dangerous to both the machines being developed and humanity. As a result, the imperative to cultivate wisdom, not just intelligence, becomes a critical moral obligation. Through the cultivation of wisdom, the speaker argues, the potential moral dangers of AGI can be mitigated.

The speaker's compelling argument draws attention to the critical need for artificial intelligence development to go beyond intelligence and prioritize the cultivation of wisdom. The interconnectedness of intelligence, rationality, and self-deception in the context of AGI serves as a thought-provoking call to action for the ethical development of intelligent systems.