[ NOTE: These book summaries are designed as captures for what I’ve read, and aren’t necessarily great standalone resources for those who have not read the book. Their purpose is to ensure that I capture what I learn from any given text, so as to avoid realizing years later that I have no idea what it was about or how I benefited from it. ]
- What is the goal of creating AI, if not to ultimately cheat death?
- Are we asking the wrong questions when we ask if we can live forever?
- Should we not be asking what the real source of happiness is instead?
- That source seems to be succeeding in the face of struggle
- The book talks a lot about how life is meaningless once you live forever and have anything you want–especially at the scale discussed in the book where you can be who you want, create your own worlds, etc.
- Many of the people in the book were basically dead inside and looked for novel ways to feel any sort of sensation whatsoever
- The main characters end up finding meaning by removing their special powers and returning to a mortal, vulnerable life with no benefit of machines or technology
- As I’ve written about before, the natural progression once we move ourselves into computers will be to remove our primal natures. To remove our weaknesses. Our legacy drives that cause so much harm and suffering.
- The problem is that these very drives (more specifically being successful according to them) is what gives us the most pleasure in life
- So it seems we cannot truly remove our drives, as it would also remove our meaning and happiness
- We will need to find a way to engineer experiences that involve these various needs, and their fullfillment, in a way that is safe and enjoyable
- But this starts moving dangerously towards an artificial existence where you’re manufacturing and controlling experience at the most basic level
- At that point, why not just send a controlled flow of happy right into the brain receptors?
- These are the questions we’ll face as we gain additional transparency into, and control over, our brains and minds and start to transition to digital form where we can create any existence we desire
[ Find my other book summaries here. ]