Thursday, 14 March 2013
The answer to that question can only be "no". Suffering exists throughout nature, and through all of humanities ancestors even before they took a form that resembles modern-days humans.
Do the atrocities of the twentieth century represent humanity's nadir? And hence should they be the focal point of our rememberance? Or should we seek to remember all human-caused human suffering throughout our history?
So, will this problem arise? There are a couple of reasons for optimism: firstly, boredom is a human concept that we can avoid programming into AIs (however, such a concept may evolve within an AI outside of our control); secondly, my own theory of human boredom is that it arises from our inability to effectively multi-task. We cannot ring-fence the intellectual capacity needed for a certain task, and use the rest for something else, hence we allocate too much intellectual resource to a task that doesn't require it. An AI agent may however be able to do this ring-fencing, and as a result may not be bored.
(I'm sure my concerns are in part attributable to Douglas Adams' Marvin.)