Given that status seem to have always been coupled to reproductive success for a very long time, it should not be surprising that evolution wired up humans to be status seekers. This wasn't recognized back in the mid 90s and I got in considerable trouble for claiming this to be a common motive.
I don't think I would be interested in being paid to work on this, but a long time ago I wrote about AI alignment in a story. It's about an AI that runs a clinic in a remote village in Africa. http://terasemjournals.net/GNJournal/GN0202/henson1.html
I can go into more detail on the backstory if you want it.