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They will see to it that everyone's physical needs are satisfied, that all children are raised under psychologically hygienic conditions, that everyone has a wholesome hobby to keep him busy, and that anyone who may become dissatisfied undergoes "treatment" to cure his "problem." Of course, life will be so purposeless that people will have to be biologically or psychologically engineered either to remove their need for the power process or make them "sublimate" their drive for power into some harmless hobby.

These engineered human beings may be happy in such a society, but they will most certainly not be free.

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On reading it, my sense of unease only intensified; I felt sure he had to be understating the dangers, understating the probability of a bad outcome along this path.

THE NEW LUDDITE CHALLENGEFirst let us postulate that the computer scientists succeed in developing intelligent machines that can do all things better than human beings can do them.

Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system.

If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity.

While I had heard such talk before, I had always felt sentient robots were in the realm of science fiction.

But now, from someone I respected, I was hearing a strong argument that they were a near-term possibility.But we are suggesting neither that the human race would voluntarily turn power over to the machines nor that the machines would willfully seize power.What we do suggest is that the human race might easily permit itself to drift into a position of such dependence on the machines that it would have no practical choice but to accept all of the machines' decisions.Ray and I were both speakers at George Gilder's Telecosm conference, and I encountered him by chance in the bar of the hotel after both our sessions were over.I was sitting with John Searle, a Berkeley philosopher who studies consciousness.While we were talking, Ray approached and a conversation began, the subject of which haunts me to this day.

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