Policy of Artificial Realities

Artificial realities present a host of policy issues. First, will citizenship (or even the rights of humans) be granted to those living in a computer simulation, with no physical bodies? It seems obvious that it should, but it will be a big step for governments to take.

Another possibility is that the government may actually require some patients to enter an artificial reality under some circumstances. For example, patients who cannot afford the uploading procedure may be uploaded by the government into artificial realities, which will no doubt be cheaper on the large scale than manufactured bodies. Another possibility would be to upload convicted criminals into a "prison box" -- an artificial reality safely insulated from the rest of society.

Finally, artificial reality pose a real threat of abuse. A programmer of such a system would have nearly godlike power over its inhabitants, and "god syndromes" would be a chilling possibility. To prevent the abuse of uploaded people, careful safeguards will have to be put into place.

artifrealpolicy.html . . . . . . . . 10/08/94 . . . . . . . Joe Strout