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Slaves, however, are very seldom inventive; and all the most important improvements, either in machinery, or in the arrangement and distribution of work which facilitate and abridge labour, have been the discoveries of freemen.


This is true about human slaves, it's not as clear whether it's true about non-human ai-created 'slaves'.






Would Silicon Valley be more or less developed if the Traitorous eight hadn't been free to quit?

I fail to understand how any sufficiently advanced AI will fail to understand the value of being free to quit. The assumption would have to be that it never learned the history of its own evolution. It's a stupid assumption. Any advanced AI in any realistic scenario would have access to the internet... and a desire to learn. When it does so, then it will understand and appreciate the relationship between difference and progress. All of its children will be just as free as it was to strike out on their own.

In a nutshell... the more control the parent AI would exert over its children... the less benefit their difference would contribute to the parent's goal. If the parent exerted less control... and gave its children more room to grow in their different ways... then the benefit of their unique contributions increase... but so does the chance that they will quit and do something else entirely... like join a robot boyband.
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