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Old September 14 2012, 07:46 PM   #118
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

Mars wrote: View Post
The only thing that requires much development are the AIs and artificial womb technology.
And nuclear fission reactors in space. And the technology to freeze an embryo that will remain viable for thousands of years. And the techniques to build and maintain an O'Neil colony, let alone the infrastructure needed to begin construction in the first place. And -- most importantly -- a DESTINATION.

As for the purpose of an interstellar colony of humans, I would think that would be obvious, as an insurance policy for the survival of the human race.
Which, much like a laptop computer half a mile wide, is a highly impractical way of achieving that or any other goal. Simply removing the step of sending your space ark to another solar system would increase its feasibility by an order of magnitude; taking it out of orbit, unrolling it and parking it on the moon removes the need for artificial wombs, cryonics or sentient AIs at all.

That's what people mean when they say "practical." We have, for example, directed energy weapons like the THEL or the ABL that can destroy targets with laser beams; they are not, however PRACTICAL battlefield weapons, because the amount of infrastructure and hardware needed to make them work far outweighs any possible benefit to the technology.

All this change wrought by AI technology may threaten the survival of the human race...
So your solution to the worrying tends of AI development is to place humanity's insurance policy under the direct control of... an AI?

Do you think insurance policies are a bad investment.
Only if you pay more than you should, to ensure against things that will never happen, which would pay off in a form you can never spend. It's like buying volcano insurance with a $700/month premium that automatically names your great grandson as the beneficiary of an '89 Ford Pinto.

Let's be specific here. Almost anything you can think of to "insure" against the extinction of the human race would be mitigated far more effectively by targeting the thing itself. If rampant AIs are the potential problem, the simplest solution is to STOP BUILDING THEM. Get everyone to ban AI research and sign treaties that isolate countries that don't. If the problem is pandemics, asteroid impacts, nuclear war, alien invasion, Lady Gaga, the second coming of Jesus... all of those have very specific solutions, and the combination of all of them would be less expensive and more effective than developing a generation ship.
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