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Sophont Science Culture Upgrading Simulator / Game Idea

Last night I got this idea that one might create a game about enhancing humans or animals and creating artificial minds which can improve themselves and others further and how that would change the world. The game would simulate sophonts (sapient sentient beings) and how they act and interact with others and society as a whole. It would simulate a whole simplified society with all kinds of jobs that are necessary to keep it up and contribute to its technological and cultural progress.

The game would be mostly about designing new minds according to certain parameters and to see how the actions of the new sophonts affect society as a whole. But the sims would be rather autonomous and would finds jobs and occupy themselves according to their own preferences and societal boundary conditions (education opportunities, job market situations, social security policies, job prestige levels(?)). They would even do upgrade on themselves if they can, and design new minds on their own, unless the player decides to intervene by letting mind designs pop up in the “minds” of the sims. In principle, the game could be run in full simulation mode without the need for any player actions.

What needs to be modelled in the game?

  • Sophonts and their characteristics
  • How they learn
  • How they are motivated
  • How they make decisions (for example switching between different states like working, socializing, idling, self-maintenance (sleep, eat, drink, exercise etc.) and how they decide what kind of job or activity they want to engage in)
  • How they come up with mind/upgrade designs
  • How the mind/upgrade designs actually work, what kind of characteristics a mind has
  • How the sims create new sims (childbirth, creation of an AI, uplifting of animals)
  • Mind uploading
  • The economy
  • Companies, governments (let’s assume a single government for simplicity) and other work providing organisations
  • Simplified production of goods and services that the sims need to do things (better)
  • Politics
  • Party politics
  • Laws and law enforcement
  • Law making
  • Attitudes of sims towards other sims and how they evolve due to different influences
  • Science
  • Different scientific disciplines and how they relate to the economy, politics and culture
  • Scientific progress
  • Mind upgrading technologies
  • Telepathy technologies enabling minds to share knowledge and culture and mind improvements.
  • Culture
  • Some jobs produce “culture” as products, for example art, or advertisement, or literature, or parties
  • Culture can inspire sims to create more culture or science, or change their political attitudes
  • Culture products have different taste characteristics and quality levels determining their effectiveness for changing the minds of sims (being influenced by many different tastes would be more stimulating than exposure to few tastes)

I guess a viable number of sims for creating a simple model of a functioning society would be something between 100 and 1000 (with teachers, scientists, industry workers, company bosses, politicians, artists, policemen, and so on).

Ok, how would minds be mind upgrades be modeled?

  • There would be many different dimensions of “inelligence”.
  • determining how quickly different skills are learned
  • how good a mind is at coming up with new ideas in different fields (science, technology, culture, politics, …)
  • determining the general way of thinking of a sim
  • Preferences must be modelled and can be changed during a mind upgrade. Meaning that there must be some meta-preferences determining what motivates a sim to change its preferences.
  • Clock speed for AIs and uploads. Just making thinking processes faster.
  • Mental bandwidth determining how many actions can be done in parallel
  • And many ideas I’ve written about in my blog post Paradigms and Classification of Upgraded Minds.

The purpose of the game would be to explore different mind designs and how their appearance changes the parameters of how the world around them functions:

  • Can some mind designs trigger some kind of self-improvement runaway process?
  • Will sims eventually decide to form group- or hive-minds?
  • Under which circumstances do we get a singleton that is more powerful than all the other sims combined?
  • How will the distribution of upgrade levels throughout society look like under different starting conditions and circumstances?
  • Will unaugmented humans eventually disappear somehow?
  • Can uplifting non-human animals make a significant difference?
  • What kind of tensions will develop between humans and other sims?
  • What is the role of politics in all of this?
  • Do we only need technological progress or does culture play a critical role, too?

I think this would be a totally fascinating and useful game or simulation. But of course you have to get it right in order to be at least somewhat realistic and believable. If it gets done right, we could use this as tool for informing future related policies and finding out which path would lead to a generally bright future.

What do you think about this idea? Do we need it? Would you want to play with it? Should we get it moving somehow? Perhaps by contacting some game developers? Or creating a toy version yourself if your own garage? :wink:

1 Like

The characteristic of having the AI improving themselves is attractive, I would like to see it inside another game, a strategy game like Civilizations. It brought me the concept of “drones” from Sid Meier’s “Alpha Centauri”, as also the mayor from the same game.