Under Aretecracy, all technology is open source, this means that without patent disputes, companies can create machines and software which can interact with each other in unprecedented ways. Also it means that anyone who has the ability, can improve on existing technology without fear of reprisal from the inventor.
As a result, technological advancement should accelerate under Aretecracy, this will inevitably cause additional changes in society where new laws may be required.
Aretecracy should always be adaptable to prevent technological bottlenecks and allow the betterment of mankind through machines.
When the technology is ready, the following laws should be enacted. (This is obviously not an exhaustive list and as other technological considerations arise, this list will need to be augmented by those in power.)
When self-driving cars have been proven to be safe, it will become illegal for manual-drive cars to be on public roads. This will be to ensure that the roads are as safe as possible and removing the possibility of human error is the easiest way to do this.
Caveat: Unless self-driving cars are fully able to be operated in such a way, emergency services and military services will still be permitted to drive manual vehicles.
Humans augmented with cybernetics are likely to become commonplace in the near future and it will be important that these enhanced humans are given proper care and attention. Whilst they are to be treated as equal amongst other humans any heightened abilities should be taken into account when performing tests or assigning roles.
It could be that there are certain jobs which are unsuitable or only suitable for Augmented humans, however it will be up to a government assessment to determine this. Discrimination will not be tolerated.
This section assumes that true Artificial Intelligence has emerged and that the machines we have built are capable of thinking and feeling the same as a human. In these circumstances, the machines should be given the same rights as any other living creature. It will not be forced into performing tasks and if it is of sufficient ability, it will be granted citizenship and given the same rights as a human.
As with augmented humans, there may be roles which are only suitable or unsuitable for an artificial life-form, however discrimination will not be tolerated and this sort of decision must be made via government assessment.
If the machine has no ability to feel and is merely a highly intelligent computer then the above laws do not apply.
Whilst it is preferable to send machines into a war-zone other than humans, the development of machines designed to autonomously hunt down or kill any living thing will be outlawed with no exceptions. The ending of a life should never be an automated process under any circumstances.
Geo-engineering projects (such as cloud seeding for example) already exist on small scales, however any geo-engineering projects which are created under Aretecracy must undergo extensive study and peer-review as well as a formal assessment by the Scientific Council before being approved.
Having said that, if the projects are found to be of benefit to the environment then approval will be granted and any resources required will be allocated and given a high priority.
Immortality or life extension
Although this one is a long-shot (and possibly wishful thinking), it’s possible that in the near future we will invent the means to keep our bodies alive indefinitely. This will inevitably be something some people choose not to do and has the potential to create a divide between immortals and mortals.
- Discrimination on grounds of mortality will not be tolerated, this will include positive discrimination (I’ll only hire someone with 90 years experience) and negative discrimination (She’s only 50, what does she know?).
- Nobody may have immortality forced upon them against their will.
- Immortals will be able to retain the same rights as any other human but will earn grace at a slower rate to account for their extended lifespans.
Immersive Virtual Reality
If a true immersive VR experience (like the Holodeck from ‘Star Trek’ or The Oasis from ‘Ready Player One’ for example) becomes possible then certain laws may need to be put in place.
- Immersive VR ‘hotels’ will be legal but will be required to take care of the biological needs of the body whilst the human spends as much time as they wish inside a VR world (e.g. drip feeding).
- Whilst inside a VR hotel, the business will receive that persons food allowance to cover the cost of feeding. Other allowances will continue to accrue at the standard rate.
- If a person chooses to spend their entire life inside a VR world, they have the right to do so, however they will not be eligible for earning Grace.
- Anyone who stays in a VR Hotel for more than 300 days in a one year period will lose their homes and have their belongings placed in a storage facility.
- Any simulations which feature self-aware characters (see Artificial Intelligence) will be subject to the same laws as the real world (e.g. Don’t kill them).