[ExI] [tt] Identity thread again

Robin D Hanson rhanson at gmu.edu
Sat Apr 4 00:20:33 UTC 2015

On Mar 26, 2015, at 12:07 AM, Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com<mailto:rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>> wrote:
### Here I am not so optimistic - the ease of making copies means the substrate is likely to be crowded. Also, there will be a trade off between spawning independently goal-oriented processes (copies) and running non-sentient optimization and search processes. A single conscious mind could elect to use available resources for e.g. exhaustive searches of solution spaces to different problems. Or it could choose to make many copies of itself. Which strategy would spread would depend on the fitness payoffs: If non-sentient processes (=supercomputing) produce valuable excludable goods (i.e. intellectual property or new physical resources) that you can protect from thieves and sell for more energy/matter than can be bought from the labor of copies, then the supercomputing strategy would predominate. Otherwise, breeders would swamp the substrate.

In a competitive world the ratio of computer hardware spend running minds like humans to "non-sentient optimization and search processes” depends on the relative effectiveness of the later compared to the former. But I don’t see what high levels of theft have to do with it. If there is a lot of theft then how that changes things depends on what kinds of things are easier to steal, and what kinds of abilities are better at doing and preventing theft. If both are equally easy or hard to steal, and if the efficient ratio of minds like humans and non-sentient processes is the same for doing and preventing theft as it is for other useful production, then we wouldn’t expect more theft to change that relative ratio.

Robin Hanson  http://hanson.gmu.edu
Res. Assoc., Future of Humanity Inst., Oxford Univ.
Assoc. Professor, George Mason University
Chief Scientist, Consensus Point
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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