Robin Hanson on Brain Emulation

We’re asking each of the participants in The World Transformed to give us their thoughts on one major coming transformation. Here Robin Hanson responds:

If you were to pick just one current or coming transformation  that you would advise people to focus on, which one would that be?

The biggest coming transformation in the next century is the introduction of whole brain emulations. That will likely be the route to broadly capable artificial intelligence.

What should we be doing about it?

Studying what is likely to happen.  Each of us should diversify our resources to prepare for a sudden fall in human wages, with a sudden increase in the return to capital, real estate, etc.

What’s in it for us if we get it right?

We want to avoid disruptive surprises, and make a smooth anticipated transition a new richer wiser world.

What are the risks if we don’t?

Wars, starvation, torture, slavery, going crazy, and in the worst case, extinction.