Re: Economic Growth Given Machine Intelligence

From: Rafal Smigrodzki (
Date: Fri May 21 2004 - 10:46:55 MDT

mike99 wrote:
-----Original Message-----
>>From: []On Behalf Of Rafal

>>The main objection to this prediction, raised by Hanson (with whom I
>>agree), is that the rise of uploads legally capable of exercising
>>ownership rights *and* psychological self-modification may result in a
>>situation where the vast majority of legally enfranchised sentients
>>evolved to put maximum value on self-replication, rather than personal
>>income growth. **In that case indeed the average per human income might be
>>reduced - but this would be irrelevant to the issue of political
>>stability, as humans would be a insignificant minority, incapable of
>>disrupting the society.**
> But would we want that type of political stability? Cybernetic feudalism,

in which the remnant of non-uploaded humanity lived on the sufferance of

their uploaded overlords, is precisely the scary scenario that the

of the transhumanist progress we want are continually throwing in our

Please note that I do not find any fault in your analysis, but only in the

desirability of its results. And I don't believe that these particular

are inevitable (and hope you agree). Our task, as I see it, is to ensure

  the human family (broadly defined, including all posthumans) allows

diversification and even some degree of social stratification (which is

inevitable in any case) but without regressing into the ancient social

in which the lower social strata were practically enslaved by the upper

### I would not use the analogy to feudalism here - after all, we
postulate that the average sentient would evolve to have minimal
personal needs, rather than the expansive and expensive tastes of
aristocrats. It is the unmodified humans, with their appetites for
consumption, beauty, power, etc. etc., who might be likened to the
king's courtiers who wander around aimlessly after the revolution,
bereft of their accustomed grandeur, while the bee-like masses around
them busy themselves with deeds incomprehensible.

I agree with you that these results are not desirable (at least for
those who insist on being human), and are not inevitable. But, again,
perhaps because of my inveterate optimism, I would think that
enslavement of humans by posthumans is unlikely - exasperated
abandonment is my current favorite expectation.


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