[ExI] Slavery in the Future

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Apr 18 06:18:48 UTC 2008

John Grigg writes

> Lee Corbin wrote:
>>There is utterly no reason to worry about slavery in a high-tech future.
> I am not so sure.  I could see a powerful individual/government
> ploying slavery not out of a desire for economic profit but simply
>  "enjoy" degrading former enemies and to eliminate the need to
> ust others (humans have trouble with this!).

Over time, humans have had less and less "trouble" with this
(this urge to inflict pain or witness it). Every generation (controlling
for wealth, ethnicity, and many other variables), people become
nicer, and this has been going on for hundreds of years. Maybe
it's in part explainable as "being nice" or being generous is a
luxury, and that as we become freer of the threat of dire necessity,
so this change proceeds.

If it isn't *people* who dominate in the future, then it's pretty much
up in the air what the goals will be of our successors. However, I
don't see much chance---what would be the mechanism?---for
the development of gratuitous cruelty.

> I also envision the slavery of genetically engineered biological
> ntients who are created for such tasks as warfare or sex work.
> Never having known freedom, they may not even fully realize
> what they are missing as they carry out their appointed roles
> in their society.

If they've been created to do work (i.e. for some purpose), then
in my view they belong to their creators. And for me, it's especially
unproblematical if aren't suffering, but are rather enjoying it. (And
why shouldn't they enjoy it? Even now, drugs are cheap, and 
there shouldn't be a premium at all on a very pleasant existence
in the future for created entities.)


> And then there is the subject of artificial intelligence slavery/AI civil rights...

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