> Can I just briefly point out that chimpanzees, much less rocks,
> are not famous for migrating to janitorial jobs?
True, but the chimp entertaining circus customers in a tutu and roller skates is doing productive labor no less than the folks who clean his cage. Both we and the chimp would be a little worse off if he didn't (assuming for the moment that the chimp "prefers" his current job to fending for himself in the wild).
> Besides, this doesn't hold true if the worst producers are using
> resources inefficiently that the best producers could otherwise use.
Yup. But for the context of this discussion, the only resources threatened by the existence of humanity are the atoms that make us up and the energy input required to keep us alive. In order for it to benefit an SI to keep us around, it is only necessary that we "earn our keep" by producing something the SI values slightly more than our atoms, even if it's something they can also produce for themselves. Entertainment (such as art, or merely entertaining behavior) might be sufficient.
> email@example.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Running on BeOS Typing in Dvorak Programming with Patterns
> Voting for Libertarians Heading for Singularity There Is A Better Way