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Just HierarchyWhy Social Hierarchies Matter in China and the Rest of the World$
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Daniel Bell and Wang Pei

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691200897

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691200897.001.0001

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Just Hierarchy between Humans and Machines

Just Hierarchy between Humans and Machines

On the Need for a Master-Slave Relation

(p.177) 5 Just Hierarchy between Humans and Machines
Just Hierarchy

Daniel A. Bell

Wang Pei

Princeton University Press

This chapter turns to the need to maintain dominance over increasingly intelligent machines. It argues that machines can and should serve human interests—in that sense, they should be slaves—and it is important to maintain such hierarchical relations of dominance. Here Marxism provides intellectual inspiration: the ideal of higher communism, with artificially intelligent machines doing socially necessary labor and humans freed to realize their creative essences, may be feasible several decades from now. But the state cannot and should not “wither away”: a strong state will always be necessary to ensure that artificial intelligence does not invert the human–machine relation with humans on top and machines on the bottom. But in the short to medium term, this chapter explains that Confucianism can help us to think of how to meet the challenge of artificial intelligence so that machines continue to serve human purposes.

Keywords:   human–machine relations, artificial intelligence, master-slave relations, Marxism, Confucianism, human dominance, technology

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