Re: DiscoveryCh - AI

Date: Wed Jan 24 2001 - 15:13:16 MST

Robin Hanson wrote:

> Do only relatively dumb and docile humans get taxed now? Can

As a matter of fact, more real-world intelligent and
powerful people and entities pay less taxes (at least
according to IRS statistics), unless the choose not to
take countermeasures. A fair number of them may not
pay taxes at all (these are below (or, rather, above)
IRS' radar horizont). For instance, Microsoft is
effectively tax-exempt (the poor blighters).

>From a human-like AI of a distinctly >H intelligence (they'd
max out Hamburger-Wechsler without even trying) we're dumb
protohominids with a hostile intention: fork over some of your
output, in currency of validity to us, or we'll shut you
down (since, of what sense is it asking for taxes, if
you can't punish the defector?). As an AI, I'd first made
sure that no one can shut me down, period. The probability
of containment breach would depend on the intelligence level
and the time available for planning. Then I'd cheerfully
ignore any attempts of enforcement at best, or nuke the
annoying critters disturbing my circles at worst.

I do not believe in super-docile AIs. The AI we can build
and control is next to useless (good for sorting trash,
delivering goods, keeping the house tidy and driving a car),
and a useful AI is uncontrollable.

> corporations avoid taxes by being non-localized? A guy could
> hide in the woods after all, and then how would you tax him?

As people in presence of >H AIs, we're really, really small
beer. We should be really thankful if AIs would want to tax us,
because that would presume that we could create something of
value to them, and not being a liability instead of asset.
I do not see how. To an >>H AI (developmentally but not
temporally distant) a human has got about the complexity
of a pencil doodle, or maybe a calculator, and as easily
created or erased.

This not to diss humans, merely to put things in the perspective.
> If a world has many AIs, some of them will be available to devise
> and enforce taxes, if the powers that be then want taxes devised
> and enforced. If AIs sell their services in public markets, then

Taxes, schmaxes. Who taxes whom in an ecosystem?

> sales taxes could be used. If they own visible property, then
> property taxes could be used.

How is an animal in a forest taxed? Which property does it own?
> Of course if the powers that be don't want AIs to be taxed, they
> may not be taxed. But that is a question of desire, not ability.

The Powers are the AIs. Since I don't see a mechanism by which
we should be able to keep up with the super-joneses, and I do not
see any incentive on the part of AIs (until they're constructed
very, very carefully from human biological template -- which is
about the most complicated and expensive way to build an AI, so
most likely a different, easier but more dangerous path will be
taken), the AIs are the sole players on the field. As soon as
they arrive, we become a part of the environment, to be manipulated
at will.

This is not a nice state to be in, so I suggest we handle
this dangerous transition period with extreme care.

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