Re: DiscoveryCh - AI

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Mon Jan 29 2001 - 08:19:14 MST

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> > I think you're missing the point. Some AIs can tax other AIs,
> > just as some humans now tax other humans. The relative
> > abilities of humans and AIs are irrelevant.
>You seem to see economy as a natural law. I don't think that
>taxation does exist for more than 10 kYrs of Earth's entire
>biological history, which counts several GYrs.
>My mental model of the future assumes species radiation and
>matter, energy and information flows in an ecology. I presume
>economics is a subset of that model, so I consider emphasizing
>postbiological beings in monetary relationships to other
>postbiological beings taxing said postbiological beings rather
>pointless. YMWV.

You can consider predation a form of taxation, and predation has
definitely exited for most of the history of life on Earth.

I do consider economy to be more like a natural law among capable
enough beings. Animals can predate, but can trade in only very
limited ways among close associates. With more intelligence
and supporting institutions, trade has vastly expanded among
humans. AIs should be capable of even more advanced trade, and
will almost surely avail themselves of such opportunities.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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