July 03, 2012

Brain emulation economics 101

Robin and the future citiesRobin Hanson gave an interesting talk at FHI a while ago about the economic impact of brain emulation. His basic approach is to look at what follows from assuming copyable human-based software entities. The answer is that it would be a big deal both in terms of economics, social change and the human condition.

One of my friends is a bit unhappy with the scenario (since it involves a lot of disposable versions of people being deleted, Malthusian competition, extreme inequality etc.), so he wrote a post and started a debate about it on Less Wrong.

My own take on the talk is that it is a first order approximation. I think there will be plenty of complicating factors. But figuring out what those are and why they are strong enough to withstand the logic of Robin's arguments is going to be a fun challenge.

I think any form of cheaply copyable human capital - whether AI, uploads, downloadable skills or super-schooling - will lead to an economic singularity. So watch out for any trends moving us closer to such technologies.

Posted by Anders3 at July 3, 2012 02:47 AM