Re: Risk, Reward, and Human Enhancement

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Thu Dec 06 2007 - 01:23:24 MST

On 06/12/2007, Byrne Hobart <> wrote:
> As we get better at directly manipulating human abilities, we're probably
> going to encounter situations in which a treatment has uncertain effects.
> Consider a new intelligence enhancement drug that, in clinical trials, has
> been shown to reduce IQ by 5 points 90% of the time, and raise it by 10
> points 10% of the time (and can be repeated indefinitely). For an
> individual, this is a pretty bad deal -- but get a group of 10,000 devoted
> singularitarians, have each one take the treatment, and then repeat it for
> the ones who get enhanced, and you'll end up with one person with an IQ 50
> points higher. And one ridiculously smart individual may make enough of a
> contribution to outweigh making 9,000 willing volunteers marginally dumber.

How do you determine whether the gain from making one person much
smarter outweighs the loss from making the rest of them marginally

Stathis Papaioannou

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