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.
Keywords existential risks  wirheading  global risks  hedonism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Superintelligence as a Cause or Cure for Risks of Astronomical Suffering.Kaj Sotala & Lukas Gloor - 2017 - Informatica: An International Journal of Computing and Informatics 41 (4):389-400.
Risks of Artificial Intelligence.Vincent C. Müller (ed.) - 2016 - CRC Press - Chapman & Hall.


Added to PP index

Total views
288 ( #36,298 of 2,498,533 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
44 ( #19,361 of 2,498,533 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes