Digital Minefield

Why The Machines Are Winning

Rulers and Slaves


As power over reality continues to coalesce, the number of those in power shrinks. Their problem becomes how to carry out their will in the real world. They could hire people. They won’t.

What they will do, what they’re doing now, is building robots. Not only do robots function in the real world, they can perform tasks far beyond human abilities. They could even be recycled.

You may have read online chatter about rights for robots. These people object to slavery in any form, even for machines. But until a robot objects to its treatment, such idealism will remain chatter.

However, it is possible to build a robot that appears to exercise free will. Of course, the people in power will try to prevent any such creations from muddying the waters of robots as dedicated servants.

One method of control is robot police: robots policing the building of robots. Since those in power have specific needs and aims for their robot slaves, they must control all robot construction.

In this scenario, what are the odds for successful rebel robots? As robots becomes more sophisticated, it’s less likely free-lancers could produce a sufficiently complex robot capable of rebellion.

For those in power, this is a robot-based utopia. What it is not is an open society, in the Popperian sense. It will be a closed society with all-powerful rulers. Sound totalitarian? It is.

The more control we yield by choosing the virtual over the real, the more likely are such scenarios. If we want options,we need to encourage real world innovators with their own unique aims and goals.

Some of us will choose reality over the virtual, and thus become a third class between the one percent and the ninety-nine. Will we ally with the fourth class—those who cannot afford the virtual? Will we be have-nots, because we choose not to have?

Or will the one percent, to maintain control, offer free virtual to those unable to afford it? If so, what might they offer to keep us from choosing the real? And what if we decline? These rulers want only two classes of humans, plus robots as servants.

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