[ExI] Unfrendly AI is a mistaken idea.

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sun Jun 17 18:05:26 UTC 2007

On Jun 17, 2007, at 1:25 AM, BillK wrote:

> On 6/17/07, Samantha Atkins wrote:
>> Actually something more personally frightening is a future where no
>> amount of upgrades or at least upgrades available to me will allow me
>> to be sufficiently competitive.    At least this is  frightening an a
>> scarcity society where even basic subsistence is by no means
>> guaranteed.   I suspect that many are frightened by the possibility
>> that humans, even significantly enhanced humans, will be second class
>> by a large and exponentially increasing margin.    In those
>> circumstances I hope that our competition and especially Darwinian
>> models are not universal.
> I think it might be helpful to define what you mean by 'competitive
> disadvantage'.
> If you take the average of anything, then by definition half of
> humanity is already at a competitive disadvantage. And there are so
> many different areas of interest, that an individual doesn't have to
> be among the best in every sphere. Everybody is at a competitive
> disadvantage in some areas. Find your niche and spend your time there.

I believe I covered that obliquely.  Let me make it more clear.  If  
the future society is so structured that to survive and participate in  
its bounty at all takes some form of gainful employment and if you  
effectively have no marketable skills to speak of (and there is little  
or no demand for raw human labor, you are not a desirable sex toy, the  
market for servants is saturated, etc.)  then you can be a bit  
worried.  Long before that your own relative value and compensation  
can quickly plummet as more efficient and intelligence and robotics  
and MNT comes into play.  Without some economic and societal  
adjustments that look a bit troublesome.    Sure you or I may well  
find and keep finding a niche.  But what of those, and in my opinion  
and increasing large number of people, who do not?

> Advanced intelligences will be spending their time doing things that
> are incomprehensible to humans. They won't be interested in human
> hobbies.
> (Apart from possibly eating all humans).

Not the point and also not very likely in the beginning when the AIs  
are funded and created to do well compensated and deeply valued  
tasks.   And it leaves out robots,  automated factories, dedicated  
design and implementation limited AIs to name  a few.

> At present humans have a wide range of different abilities and our
> society appears to give great rewards to people with little
> significant abilities.
> (Think pop singers, sports stars, children of millionaires,
> 'personalities', etc.).

Have you ever attempted to make it as a musician? I haven't either but  
I have known intimately many who did.  Are you aware of the dedication  
and effort it takes to be a sports star?    Do you notice that all  
your examples are the 1 in 1000000 folks.  What about the 999999 others?

I am not talking about "at present" when human are on top of the heap  
intelligence wise.

> The great majority of scientists, for example, live lives of relative
> poverty, with few of the trappings of economic success. Are they
> 'uncompetitive'?

When dedicated autonomous research AIs come on the scene they  
increasingly will be.

> Economic success, in general, suggests that 'niceness' is a
> competitive disadvantage. Success seems to go with being more ruthless
> and nasty than all your competitors.
> (Like evolution in this respect).

I utterly disagree with this characterization.

> It may be that being at a competitive disadvantage will not be that
> bad. Providing you have some freedom to do what you want to do. I can
> think of many areas that I am quite happy to leave to other people to
> compete in.

Assuming you have the necessities of life and access to sufficient  
tools and resources to do things that are interesting and meaningful  
to you.  It is precisely that this cannot be assumed to be the case in  
the future that is troublesome.

> The point of having a 'civilized' society is that the weaker should be
> protected to some extent from powerful predators, even when the
> predators are other humans.

i think the discussion would benefit from less focus on humans or own  
unfortunate predatory models of competition.

- samantha

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list