The orthogonality thesis is the view that intelligence and motivation are not mutually interdependent. According to the orthogonality thesis, an intelligent agent could in principle combine any level of cognitive ability with any list of ultimate goals.

Further reading

Bostrom, Nick (2012) The superintelligent will: motivation and instrumental rationality in advanced artificial agents, Minds and Machines, vol. 22, pp. 71–85.

Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2013) Five theses, two lemmas, and a couple of strategic implications, Machine Intelligence Research Institute's Blog, May 5.

instrumental convergence thesis