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Evolution-Driven Ethical Progression

Daniel Vallstrom
Nov 22, 2015 · 2 min read

On How to Live, What to Consider Right, What Old Societies and Super-AIs Are Like, and Why We Don’t See Them

Daniel Vallstrom

NB: For the full text, see:


Evolution in a broad sense applies also to reproducing AI. And evolution helps bring about cooperation. This, together with data of our own progression, is used to project that we will become more and more cooperative and considerate, and that old societies and super-AIs are cooperative and considerate. (An ‘old society’ means here a society that has undergone more biological and cultural evolutionary changes than human society.) These projections, and diminishing beneficial returns from material resources, suggest a possible evolutionary solution to the Fermi paradox. It is also argued that it is likely that old societies evolve into, or give way to, super-AIs, since it is likely that super-AIs are feasible, and fitter.

Appended is an algorithm for colonizing for example a galaxy quickly.

The Fermi paradox also tentatively suggests that certain of our approaches to AI research will be more fruitful than others, and that utilitarianism seemingly is wrong. There are also other ethical conclusions to be had.

In addition, there are arguments against that we live in a simulation.

There is also a summary discussion of traditional philosophy and ethics.

Conclusion of the Fermi Paradox Section

Looking at it from the other direction, we have all these observations and principles:

  • The Copernican or mediocrity principle
  • The equilibrium principle
  • The seemingly likely abundance of old societies
  • The observation that just a single society ought to be able to quickly explore and colonize e.g. our galaxy
  • The Fermi paradox
  • No evidence of non-benign old societies or super-AIs: our solar system hasn’t been made into paper clips e.g.
  • Seemingly no Kardashev type III societies

This suggests that all old societies and super-AIs behave similarly in these regards, and that is because of things they have in common, for example evolution and evolutionary game theory. A look at these common things, an extrapolation of our own progression, and diminishing beneficial returns from material resources, seem to suggest that societies and AIs become more and more cooperative and considerate and less and less aggressively expansive, which would explain the Fermi paradox.

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