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xxdanbrowne comments on Amputation of Destiny - Less Wrong

26 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 29 December 2008 06:00PM

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Comment author: xxdanbrowne 25 January 2011 09:23:09PM 0 points [-]

What's interesting to me is how much I believe the original poster has missed about the culture. Sure there are features lacking from culture society such as it having not too many significant challenges for either the humans or the Minds.

What you have gotten incorrect however, is that the human part of the Culture DOES need the minds. The main factor behind the collapse of all human civilizations up till now has been the "will to power" of the humans who seek glory through military means who have ultimately caused the destruction of many cultures (small c) in the past. Human nature being what it is, there will always be those who seek to topple the status quo which benefits everyone in order to set things up to benefit only themselves or satisfy their own personal whims whatever the case may be. It is my position that human culture NEEDS something like the Minds in order to protect itself from such usurpers and barbarians.

Additionally, it is quite clearly stated throughout the culture novels that though many of the Minds see humans as being animals, there are, nevertheless a handful of humans living in the Culture at any one time who are capable of making the right decision every time. The Culture has a great deal of respect for these humans.

Back in the real world, if you ask the question: "why would any sufficiently advanced AI tolerate the existence of humans if not just because it likes them?" The answer to that is Adam Smith. Even in the case of two countries where country A outcompetes country B in productivity at all possible classes of product, it is STILL more efficient to have country B produce a limited number of products and trade them to country A. That is likely to continue to be the case in the future.

The above is only one possible requirement for Minds living with humans. There are other arguments for keeping them around.

The only place where I can agree 100% is asking the question "why don't humans simply become Minds?"

That would seem to me to be a reasonable choice to make on your deathbed.

Comment author: DanielLC 16 January 2013 06:50:15AM 4 points [-]

Even in the case of two countries where country A outcompetes country B in productivity at all possible classes of product, it is STILL more efficient to have country B produce a limited number of products and trade them to country A.

This isn't a matter of productivity. It's a matter of efficiency. If a Mind can construct 1000 widgets or 2000 gadgets in a year, and a human can only construct one widget or one gadget, it would be best for the Minds to produce gadgets and the humans to produce widgets, but if a Mind can construct 1000 widgets or 2000 gadgets with one unit of resources, and a human can only construct one widget or one gadget, you're better off just having the Mind make everything.

Even if they're producing thoughts, the humans are made of matter that can be used to make Minds. If nothing else, you can choose between having more humans or Minds. Two Minds can produce 1000 widgets and 2000 gadgets, but a human and a Mind can only produce 501 widgets and 1000 gadgets.