[extropy-chat] Manifest Destiny for >H

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Apr 16 04:02:27 UTC 2007

Stathis writes

> > Bacteria can be checked by clean rooms, aliens (like human empires)
> > might check each other over interstellar distances, and humans (as
> > individuals) are held in check by envy, law, and custom.
> Right, but parrotting the argument for AI's taking over the world, some
> bacteria, aliens or humans, due to diversity, would be less subject to
> these checks, and they will come to predominate in the population,
> so that after multiple generations the most rapacious entity will eat
> everything else and ultimately make the universe synonymous with itself.

Well, this often happens!  99% of all species, or something like that, are
extinct.  But what is different, I say, between any precedent and what
may very well happen, is that extremely advanced intelligence here on 
Earth could have absolutely catastrophic effects on *all* other life forms.

> On the other hand, maybe there will be long, long periods of dynamic
> equilibrium, evn between competing species grossly mismatched in
> intelligence, such as humans and bacteria. 

That's because, in my view, human beings just got here. Another eye-
blink from now, and just why will we or our >H successors permit
anything to use valuable energy besides ourselves (themselves)?

> I'm not as worried about the future behaviour of super-AI's as
> many people seem to be. There is no logical reason why they
> should have one motivation rather than another. If humans can
> be concerned about flowers and trees, why can't super-
> intelligent beings be concerned about humans?

Oh, they *could* be. But it's very risky, of course, and the scenarios
that many people have thought deeply about (a mutation causing 
even a beneficial AI to suddenly tile the solar system with copies
of itself) make a lot of sense to me.

> After all, we weren't created by flowers and trees to have any
> particular feelings towards them, while we *would* be the ones
> creating the AI's. And even if some AI's went rogue, that would
> be no different to what currently happens with large populations
> of humans. 

The claim is that these (or "the") extremely advances AI would
have nanotechnological capabilities, and for the first time, a
possibly ruthless intelligence might very well have total control
over the placement of all molecules on the Earth's surface. You
think this unlikely or impossible?


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