[C]onsider the question, “Which creatures should be created?” in a future where factories can make a wide range of creatures. This situation might arise with whole brain emulation, or advanced genetic engineering. Imagine a supply-and-demand world where many similar competing profit-seeking factories can each make many possible creatures with great precision, endowing them with any preferred debts or rights, but aren’t overly limited by intellectual property rights. When creating creatures is such a competitive industry, supply and demand has strong implications.Hanson eventually devises a principle of existence:
Creature X should exist if it wants to exist [i.e., would want to exist if they existed] and it can pay for itself. … Most new creatures would have designs near the peak of factory profitability, and own little surplus relative to their cost. Residual control rights (e.g., “are they slaves?”) would rest in the hands of whomever could squeeze the most market value from them.Given that a 'creature producing factory' will have to foot the initial cost [his terminology, not mine], he comes up with a list of ways for the factory to recoup:
- Shared goals
Nobody thinks like Robin Hanson. Nobody.