Re: Corporate Uploads Take Over

Date: Fri Jul 14 2000 - 10:05:01 MDT

Robin wrote:
> Hardware and upload compilation will become cheap enough to
> profitably run uploads for lower than then-current wages when
> human labor is still highly valued (i.e., before strong AI),
> and substantially before most individuals can afford to
> non-destructively upload themselves.
> Given this premise, most first uploads would be corporate projects,
> and such uploads would have a first-mover advantage in filling niches.

I think at a minimum you need to qualify this in terms of the social,
ethical and legal attitude towards uploads. If they are seen as humans,
with legal rights, they could be much less profitable for corporations.
If people have to be killed to be uploaded, the legal environment would
have to change a great deal to allow corporations to kill people for
profit. All these factors are hard to predict.

I had written:

: The moral opposition to
: such an effort would be overwhelming, especially when it comes from
: people who will be put out of work if it succeeds.

Robin responded:

> Now opposition due to fears of being put out of work is a whole
> different matter. But it isn't the same thing as these other "moral"
> concerns you've mentioned.

Right, but in practice morality and economic interest often travel
together. As you wrote earlier:

} 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.

So here you seem to be suggesting that people would adjust their
moral views because they would perceive uploads as being beneficial.
I predicted the opposite effect.

An important question is whether people will view the advent of these
uploads as advantageous for them. On the one hand, it gives them access
to a form of "AI" cheaply. On the other hand, a substantial fraction
of people (what percent, would you estimate?) will be thrown out of work.

People don't like losing their jobs. That's where much of the opposition
to immigration comes from. My feeling is that uploads will be seen as
far more threatening. Rather than stand by and allow themselves to be
replaced, people will vote restrictions on uploads. That seems like a
very plausible scenario to me.


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