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Dagon, thank you for the reply! You’ve actually pointed out a lot of things which I didn’t think about. You’re right that I was only considering animals that have displayed some level of intelligence - dogs, dolphins, and the like. I did not consider animals that display colonial intelligence. I do hope such species are also considered which future humans make lists of non-human creatures to being along!

Your point about moral patients is interesting. I didn’t know that phrase, but it seems that all life on earth is a moral patient of humanity.

Climate Change certainly affects ants as it does other life. Why do you consider that climate change will not be an extinction level event after a point? “reducing the number of species by a bit” is certainly a worse hyperbole than mine.

Lastly, you seem very confident that some species will be brought along by future humans and “a larger number of species we'll create or allow to come into being along the way”. What makes you say that? Could you please explain?

Excellent point Shminux. The answer is Yes and No. For every situation, no matter how evolved you are, the answer would be some level of “Me First”, unless it’s trained out of you militaristically. So in this case, I would expect future humans to say that we care about the survival of Earth animals above the survival of exoplanet animals. That said, there would be a faction on earth and in space who would regard both earth animals and exoplanet animals to be equally important and worth saving.

The question is whether future humans will even bother trying to carry Earth animals with them or not?

Plant preservation might be a goal that’s beneficial to humans in a more direct way - gene modified plants that don’t consume any oxygen and only consume carbon dioxide and produce a lot of food and need less sun to do so would be extremely valuable in space. That would cause future humans to take plants with them.

Answer by nitinkhanna20

First time poster, so forgive me if I don’t sound LessWrongy…

But I wonder, what exactly is worrying you about Cloud Chem Labs? Is it a security worry, that someone may be able to create a chemical that’s “not good”? In that case, just like normal Cloud Infrastructure, they probably have extensive logs for orders and also some mechanisms for detecting what compounds are being created and to prevent or block creation of bad stuff.

Also, since it’s not a General Availability thing, just like OpenAI is not exactly GA, the applications are probably controlled and monitored for negative use, which might cause negative press for this new system.

But in the hands of more callous builders, this sort of system is definitely something that can be misused, just like all the Clouds are very often used for DDOS attacks and such frequently nowadays.