Re: Why Not Planet of the Apes?
Mon, 9 Jun 1997 01:38:21 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 6/8/97 9:43:14 PM, Robin Hanson wrote:

> writes:
>>It seems to me that it is the very intelligence of primates that works
>>against the possibility of using them as domesticated animals. Having had
>>the opportunity to observe a prosimian at close quarters for a few years, I
>>can say that the overpowering curiosity and playfulness of our primate
>>cousins just isn't compatible with any sort of work habits: They're too
>>damned smart to be put in harness and, after puberty, can't be said to be
>>"docile" in any setting but one where humans are willing to accomodate
>>wild nature.
>Should we expect A.I.s to be similarly uncooperative? Or is this some
>unfortunate but coincidental feature of primates?

I wouldn't think so. Presumably this is related to reproductive success,
since it gets worse after puberty. Chimpanzees raised as humans generally do
OK until puberty but become intractable afterwards. While aggression,
dominance games, and shirking work would probably help a monkey's
reproduction, it's going to be counterproductive for an AI, at least as long
as AIs depend on humans for reproduction. Long domestication tends to make
animals more docile (e.g. dogs vs. wolves) and AIs will presumably start out
docile, from both design goals and (presumably) little need for
self-motivation in the early stages.