Re: No AI for Nano/No Nano for copyloads

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 15:36:11 MDT

Hal Finney wrote:
>Uploads somehow don't fit into the world as we know it.
>This suggests to me that uploading won't be something that happens off
>in a lab somewhere without anyone caring until success is achieved.

Robert Bradbury wrote:
>Unless you can take the consciousness out of the machine there
>are going to be a lot of people arguing you can't use it as
>a slave. If it is a free agent, then a lot of legal groundwork
>will need to be laid for it to act as an economic agent (have
>a S.S. number, pay taxes, etc.). ...

What if the first upload is a cryonics patient, who is legally "dead"?
What about the apparent majority today who can't accept a machine
being "conscious"? What if the first upload company keeps their uploads
from talking with and interacting with ordinary people in "human" ways?
(Software just does useful things; you can't see how.) And what if
you can make *trillions* of dollars selling such software service?
Won't that motivate them to do what ever paperwork/lobbying it takes?

It might not be right, but people can be remarkably blind when it
suits them. They might not see the uploads if that would make trouble.

If you were going to spend a billion dollars to upload someone in the
hope of selling billions of copies of that upload, who would you upload?
Someone smart, sure, and "tough" to handle the big changes, but there's
lots of tough smart people. It seems to me that you'd look for someone
"meek" to inherit the earth. Someone who can accept a modest lifestyle,
and just do their job smoothly and without calling attention to them.
Someone who can accept being turned off when the need arises. Someone
who would not think of complaining or revolting as long as they were
treated reasonably, and who won't trigger people's fears of strange
ambitious machine intelligences. Someone who fit people's subconscious
image of a docile servant whose proper place in the world is to help
you when you ask and then fade into the background. Might sell many
billions of those. The meek may well inherit the earth.

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

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