Why Not Planet of the Apes?

Robin Hanson (hanson@hss.caltech.edu)
Sun, 8 Jun 1997 14:21:08 -0700 (PDT)

Friday night I was listening to a Bio prof talk about the monkeys he
uses in his research. They are rugged and damn smart, and are trained
to help run each new experiment.

If any brand of AI researcher had a computer that good, they'd
probably think they were very close to the holy grail. But here we do
have such computers, and we don't put them to much use besides
studying their brains.

So why is it exactly that we haven't trained such monkeys to do real
jobs around in our society? Couldn't they be trained to be security
guards, to sweep streets, to wash cars, or to run machines in
factories? Yes language is important for many jobs, but for all jobs?
Sure they like to be with each other, but couldn't teams of monkeys
work together?

I'm honestly puzzled here.

Robin D. Hanson hanson@hss.caltech.edu http://hss.caltech.edu/~hanson/