The Price of Survival

I have spent a lot of this weekend playing Destiny1. In Destiny your character is one of the last defenders of humanity in the face of monstrous alien enemies.

You do not fight alone, as well as the human defenders there are the Warminds.

The Warminds are AIs, built by humanity and then self-evolving to act as humanity’s last line of defence.

Their core priorities are stark, in order:

  1. Preserve human civilisation
  2. Preserve humanity
  3. Preserve the conditions for existence

And they are ruthless in executing those priorities. Individual humans matter2 but are expendable if necessary to meet a priority goal.

Watching this morning’s terrible Marr interview of Johnson out of one eye while I ran around the ruins of human civilisation in Destiny I found myself wondering just what a Warmind would do when human civilisation is in danger of collapse from climate change and economic inequality yet our politicians are demonstrably incapable of tackling them, and indeed lack the moral capacity and empathy to even engage?

  1. I was doing the Vanguard/Drifter quest and of course I went for Vanguard 🙂
  2. Warminds have a “black box” morality system the workings of which are opaque to us but the results of which are testable. You may like to ponder how this differs from humanity…

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