Category: ethnic nepotism
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) should reduce traffic accidents, but they will sometimes have to choose between two evils, such as running over pedestrians or sacrificing themselves and their passenger to save the pedestrians. Defining the algorithms that will help AVs make these moral decisions is a formidable challenge. We found that participants in six Amazon Mechanical Turk studies approved of utilitarian AVs (that is, AVs that sacrifice their passengers for the greater good) and would like others to buy them, but they would themselves prefer to ride in AVs that protect their passengers at all costs. The study participants disapprove of enforcing utilitarian regulations for AVs and would be less willing to buy such an AV. Accordingly, regulating for utilitarian algorithms may paradoxically increase casualties by postponing the adoption of a safer technology.
Participants’ approval of passenger sacrifice was even robust to treatments in which they had to imagine themselves and another person, particularly a family member, in the AV (study three, n = 259 participants). Imagining that a family member was in the AV negatively affected the morality of the sacrifice, as compared with imagining oneself alone in the AV (P = 0.003). But even in that strongly aversive situation, the morality of the sacrifice was still rated above the midpoint of the scale, with a 95% CI of 54 to 66.
This is the classic signature of a social dilemma, in which everyone has a temptation to free-ride instead of adopting the behavior that would lead to the best global outcome. One typical solution in this case is for regulators to enforce the behavior leading to the best global outcome. Indeed, there are many similar societal examples involving trade-off of harm by people and governments (15–17). For example, some citizens object to regulations that require children to be immunized before starting school. In this case, the parental decision-makers choose to minimize the perceived risk of harm to their child while increasing the risk to others. Likewise, recognition of the threats of environmental degradation have prompted government regulations aimed at curtailing harmful behaviors for the greater good. But would people approve of government regulations imposing utilitarian algorithms in AVs, and would they be more likely to buy AVs under such regulations?
Our findings suggest that regulation for AVs may be necessary but also counterproductive. Moral algorithms for AVs create a social dilemma (18, 19). Although people tend to agree that everyone would be better off if AVs were utilitarian (in the sense of minimizing the number of casualties on the road), these same people have a personal incentive to ride in AVs that will protect them at all costs. Accordingly, if both self-protective and utilitarian AVs were allowed on the market, few people would be willing to ride in utilitarian AVs, even though they would prefer others to do so. Regulation may provide a solution to this problem, but regulators will be faced with two difficulties: First, most people seem to disapprove of a regulation that would enforce utilitarian AVs. Second—and a more serious problem—our results suggest that such regulation could substantially delay the adoption of AVs, which means that the lives saved by making AVs utilitarian may be outnumbered by the deaths caused by delaying the adoption of AVs altogether. Thus, car-makers and regulators alike should be considering solutions to these obstacles.
Anti-Salterians wrong again.
Recent agent-based computer simulations suggest that ethnocentrism, often thought to rely on complex social cognition and learning, may have arisen through biological evolution. From a random start, ethnocentric strategies dominate other possible strategies (selfish, traitorous, and humanitarian) based on cooperation or non-cooperation with in-group and out-group agents. Here we show that ethnocentrism eventually overcomes its closest competitor, humanitarianism, by exploiting humanitarian cooperation across group boundaries as world population saturates. Selfish and traitorous strategies are self-limiting because such agents do not cooperate with agents sharing the same genes. Traitorous strategies fare even worse than selfish ones because traitors are exploited by ethnocentrics across group boundaries in the same manner as humanitarians are, via unreciprocated cooperation. By tracking evolution across time, we find individual differences between evolving worlds in terms of early humanitarian competition with ethnocentrism, including early stages of humanitarian dominance. Our evidence indicates that such variation, in terms of differences between humanitarian and ethnocentric agents, is normally distributed and due to early, rather than later, stochastic differences in immigrant strategies.
…ethnocentrism, often thought to rely on complex social cognition and learning, may have arisen through biological evolution.
Now, as I’ve stated many times, the utility of EGI does NOT depend on the evolution of any behavior, including ethnocentrism. It simply requires that ethnocentrism, which can be acted upon by rational thought mechanisms, be adaptive, which it is (as emphasized by this work). That said, it is interesting to note that ethnocentrism, being evolutionarily stable once enacted, may in fact be an evolved behavior (likely to varying extents in different population groups).
… ethnocentric strategies dominate other possible strategies…
Selfish and traitorous strategies are self-limiting because such agents do not cooperate with agents sharing the same genes.
Traitorous strategies fare even worse than selfish ones because traitors are exploited by ethnocentrics across group boundaries in the same manner as humanitarians are, via unreciprocated cooperation.
The fact that traitorous and selfish genotypes perform just as badly against humanitarians as they do against ethnocentrics, and the lack of any mediation effect of free-riding contradict the alternative mediation hypothesis that only ethnocentrics out-compete selfish free-riders. Although ethnocentrics can exploit selfish agents in neighboring clusters, the self-limiting properties of defection against the free-riders’ own gene pool tend to diminish this advantage. Under many conditions, there are not enough free-riders to allow this potential ethnocentric advantage to be widely used.
Notice that the dominance of ethnocentrism over humanitarianism, and the marginalization of selfish and traitorous strategies, can be explained purely via individual selection, without recourse to group-selection mechanisms.
Unlike selfish free-riders, traitorous agents have the additional problem of being exploited by the very out-groups they cooperate with. This explains why traitorous genotypes typically do even worse than selfish genotypes, despite the traitors’ greater capacity for cooperation…strategies that fail to cooperate with their own kind (selfish and traitorous) never gained much of a foothold.
Ultimate take-home message: anti-Salterians are liars and ignorant frauds. HBD – hostile to (White) ethnocentrism – is an anti-scientific fraud. Concern trolling about free-riding is politically/ethnically-motivated mendacity. Salter is proven correct once again.