Re: the robot scenario

Anders Sandberg (
Sat, 16 Nov 1996 23:27:43 +0100 (MET)

On Sat, 16 Nov 1996, Max M wrote:

> I hope this isn't a discussion done with a long ago.

Well, it has appeared in several variations on the list (and the
transhuman list) over the years. It is probably one of the perennials.

Have you read _The Time Ships_ by Baxter by any chance? He discusses this
scenario in the book, in the final part of the book.

> Does the scenario hold and what is the reason then for us as biological
> beings to go to space and live eternal lives? (Not counting the obvious
> reason to fight the robots for raw materials ;-) )

First of all, it is unlikely that AI transcendence will occur overnight
surprising humanity (I know some on this list disagree with me on this),
so it is likely that some precautions will be taken (such as preventing
the AIs from running off with replicators). This is the AI-slavery
question, and might be sticky ethical ground.

My view is that this scenario is possible, but not necessarily the only
possibility. I often argue for what could be seen as the robot scenario
with humans as hangers-on: by developing AI based on human-computer
symbiosis, we ensure that we will remain important parts of any spreading
AI civilization (just as mitochondria and brainstems are part of us;
primitive but essential). This way we could both get our infinite lives,
space and freedom for the robots, since they would be us.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y