[ExI] Slavery in the Future

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sat Apr 19 07:38:05 UTC 2008

On Apr 17, 2008, at 8:33 AM, Lee Corbin wrote:

> The only important differences between my car and a
> slave is (a) the slave regrets its situation (b) the slave
> is conscious. If I create sub-programs that don't
> regret my control and who are conscious, then they're
> more like employees or collaborators. I will not call
> that slavery, unless you can persuade me that my car
> is properly speaking a slave.

The important difference is that your car is not an intelligent self  
aware autonomous entity.  If you create programs that are then you  
have  created entities that arguably have as much right to pursue  
their own agenda as you do to pursue yours.

>> I am reasonably confident that outright slavery is not
>> a common thing among our highly-developed
>> galactic neighbors.
> Yes!  For the simple reason that generating the regret
> and pining-away typical of slaves is not efficient.

So given the technology to sufficiently hack human minds back in the  
age of slavery it would not be slavery to breed and use suitably  
hacked humans?   If that is part of your premise then it would be  
perfectly fine if someone hacked you to have no resentment of having  
your life devoted to their needs.   Furthermore, given the technology,  
it would be perfectly acceptable for you to hack as many humans as you  
wish to work as non-regretting slaves on your projects.

>> On the other hand, other nastiness may be viable: Killing off most
>> people after a group develops human-equivalent AI. Developing
>> mind-control techniques to make willing slaves (see Vinge's "A
>> Deepness in the Sky", an excellent book). The eternal world-spanning
>> AI-assisted dictatorship.
> I agree, just that the "Focused" in VV's Deepness were an advance,
> but obviously hardly the pinnacle of advanced surveillance techniques
> or advanced AI.
> There is utterly no reason to worry about slavery in a high-tech  
> future.

Seems to me your argument gives plenty of reason to worry whether you  
stop calling it "slavery" or not.

- samantha

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