SCI and ECON Nanotech

Lyle Burkhead (
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 16:27:58 -0500 (EST)

Peter C. McCluskey asks:

> What will keep AI salaries noticeably greater than zero?
> The supply of AI's will be, for most purposes, nearly unlimited.
> If I can create a million copies of myself...

If you made one copy of yourself, would the copy work for free? If you
were a copy, would you work for free? What will keep AI salaries
greater than zero is the fact that they will be (by hypothesis) our equals,
and they will demand the same things we demand.

If you could make a million copies of yourself, how would that differ
from our present situation? The human race already makes a copy of
itself, every generation. Millions of new humans enter the work force
every year. The supply of entry-level workers is, for most purposes,
nearly unlimited. Why don't they work for free? Why do they demand
more compensation, as they move into jobs with more responsiblity?

> If I can create a million copies of myself, how hard would it be
> to create my own Exxon?

As hard as it is now. You would still have to (1) conceive the project,
(2) write a detailed business plan, (3) raise capital, (4) hire the copies,
specify their jobs, train them, organize them into an efficient work
force... Everything you have to do now to create an Exxon
would still have to be done if you were dealing with copies of yourself.
In other words, the situations are isomorphic.