Wireheading as a Possible Contributor to Civilizational Decline

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Abstract: Advances in new technologies create new ways to stimulate the pleasure center of the human brain via new chemicals, direct application of electricity, electromagnetic fields, “reward hacking” in games and social networks, and in the future, possibly via genetic manipulation, nanorobots and AI systems. This may have two consequences: a) human life may become more interesting, b) humans may stop participating in any external activities, including work, maintenance, reproduction, and even caring for their own health, which could slowly contribute to a decline in human populations. As wireheading is not self-limiting, it may push the addict to his/her limits and ultimately result in life-threatening behavior. Mass unemployment and the provision of basic income would likely feed the industry of pleasures. DIY synthetic biology and computers may create the possibility of homemade very addictive drugs through various routes, like insertion of a morphine-producing gene in plants or stimulation of the brain via electromagnetic fields, which may not be possible to control via limiting the supply chain. If “wireheading knowledge” becomes freely available, it could create a reward-hacking epidemic larger than the current U.S. opioid crisis and possibly contribute to a global civilizational decline.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
TURWAA
Revision history
First archival date: 2018-09-26
Latest version: 2 (2018-10-14)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2018-09-26

Total views
61 ( #28,870 of 39,657 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
29 ( #16,731 of 39,657 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.