[ExI] The Status Game

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sun Dec 17 00:15:05 UTC 2023

On Sat, Dec 16, 2023 at 2:37 PM Kelly Anderson via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> So I have been reading Will Storr's book entitled "The Status Game"

I wonder if he goes into the evolutionary reasons we seek status?

It's fairly obvious, high-status males are much more likely to
reproduce.  High-status females probably don't have any more children,
but those children are more likely to survive.

> and have come to realize from this that we MAY not have quite as much
> to worry about AI as I had previously thought. As group oriented
> primates, we crave status, and it has led, according to the cogent
> argument of Storr, to many if not most of the "bad things" as well as
> "good things" in human history. It matters a lot that your Status Game
> is played in the right kind of system as to whether bad or good things
> ultimately emerge. It's a fascinating read and I recommend it to you
> all on its own merits.
> That being said, if we do not program AIs' optimization functions to
> attempt to achieve status, might we not be avoiding SOME of the more
> important pitfalls that we primates are prone to?

I wrote about this in 2007.

"The clinic [an AI] had other carefully selected human personality
characteristics such as seeking the good opinion of its peers (humans
and others of its kind alike).  It also had a few unhuman limits."


(Yeah, I know, I was picking low-hanging fruit.)

> -Kelly
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