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I want to know how / if we could train monkeys to do a variety of human tasks. Is it possible to teach monkeys human trades and set them free throughout major cities to do jobs and interact with humans?

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  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Nov 9 at 6:13
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    $\begingroup$ For those answering your question some indication of the sort of 'trades' you're considering here would be helpful, shoe shine boy? carpenter? rocket scientist? what are you actually after here? $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Nov 10 at 3:56
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Not without majorly altering the monkeys to the point where they aren't monkeys anymore and its a new subspecies. They aren't smart enough. The expression 'Monkey see, monkey do' comes to mind - they can be trained, yes. They can be trained to do things. But there's no way for them to go 'Planet of the Apes' on us. Thankfully.

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    $\begingroup$ I find this quite disappointing. So I could train a monkey to shoot a gun still right? $\endgroup$ – Liam Parent Nov 7 at 0:14
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    $\begingroup$ You can train a monkey to shoot a gun. At that point you run several risks, including the monkey shooting you, but can train a monkey to shoot a gun. $\endgroup$ – Halfthawed Nov 7 at 0:15
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    $\begingroup$ Perfect muahahaha! $\endgroup$ – Liam Parent Nov 7 at 0:16
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    $\begingroup$ @LiamParent: Train a monkey to shoot a gun, relatively well-known real-life footage. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Nov 7 at 0:25
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP That footage is fake - it was a promo video for Rise of Planet of the Apes. Here is the cure for your disappointment. $\endgroup$ – IndigoFenix Nov 7 at 7:44
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japan do that and most south east asian country also train monkey for certain activity, from picking coconut or other fruit to street circuss to act like human like riding bicycle,smoking, even as drug cartel, etc.

i dont know about japan but the training that i know though..... is pretty much would make animal lovers like PETA mad because it choke the monkey with chain to force them standing in two feet etc and pretty much torture them, picking coconut and drug cartel is more humane though because you give a treat as their payment (yes they understand some kind of value) and not require them to standing in two feet.

also if you want the monkey into military they probably do better as grenade thrower because they naturally know how to do it.

and i just want to put this image just because

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Yes they understand value, and one of the first things they do when given something of value is invent prostitution. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Nov 7 at 8:29
  • $\begingroup$ monkey prostitution yes plz haha $\endgroup$ – Liam Parent Nov 7 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ @LiamParent well.....it actually exist...... al though i only known ape prostitution for people that like kinky bestiality, i know you guys are joking but.....stuff like that exist in the dark corner of the world.....just saying..... $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Nov 7 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ Monkeys are actually much worse grenade throwers than humans. They have the strength for it, but are not nearly as accurate. what-if.xkcd.com/44 $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki - Reinstate Monica Nov 8 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ It's about range, not force. At that speed, the best range a chimp can get is about 8 meters at a perfect 45 degree arc. However, their accuracy is also so bad that they instinctively only throw things at ranges of 2 meters or less when trying to hit something. (Even at this range, they only have a 10% accuracy against a roughly person sized target). Since most grenades have a 5 meter kill radius and a 15 meter casualty radius, you might as well just rig them up as suicide bombers. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki - Reinstate Monica Nov 14 at 19:59
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You can train apes to do human jobs, but I doubt it would be worth the trouble.

Apes can understand the concept of work and payment, but their ability to grasp complex tasks is, on average, much lower than that of humans. They can also be moody, prone to distraction, and have their own personality traits that differ significantly from those of typical humans. Chimpanzees, for instance, are very aggressive and nearly impossible to control.

Instead of thinking of them as trained animals, think of them as severely mentally handicapped humans with serious personality disorders. They can be put to work, but in many cases this will prove a liability.

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    $\begingroup$ True. They can be tamed, but they will still remain wild animals. Just like a wolf can be tamed and trained, but will never get close to the behavior of a dog. In order to do that you need many many generations of domestication (hundreds, maybe thousands of years), and the end result will be a completely new species. $\endgroup$ – vsz Nov 7 at 19:56
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You can do whatever you want in the fictional world but you need to understand that they will not be monkeys in the way we know them in this reality. They have no sense of value in anything beyond basic family or troop relationships, so “money” means nothing to them. Damaging property, stealing, giving things away, will never be concepts true monkeys can understand. They won’t arrive to work on time because they don’t know what time means. They will do whatever makes them feel good.

In your alternate world, you will have to give your monkeys a higher IQ and an ability to understand abstract thoughts, and to reciprocate moral values. The basic concept of a “troop” exists with real monkeys, and that could be developed in your story into an understanding of citizenship and civic duty after their intelligence is improved.

Again you can’t pretend these are “real monkeys” as we know them in this reality. If being “real monkeys” is crucial to your story, then the answer is simply, no.

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Teach no

genetically engineer (uplift), then teach, yes.

but uplifting a species is still way beyond our ability you would need severely advanced genetic engineering, likely generations away. Our first uplift will also be a more intelligent species likely an ape (although we could drive the rest of apes extinct before we get there), lastly our first uplift will also be largely trail and error, so they will spend a long time, generations, in the testing phase.

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    $\begingroup$ Genetic engineering isn't needed, most (actually, all) of what would be needed can be achieved by selective breeding to produce a properly domesticated species, less aggressive, more compliant, etc, at least some of the desired characteristics can be achieved just by breeding for retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Nov 9 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Pelinore to get usable levels of intelligence it is going to take hundreds of thousands of generations of selective breeding, at a minimum. millions is more likely. you basically have ot get to human levels of intelligence, so you are looking at more time than hte human species has been around. $\endgroup$ – John Nov 10 at 3:31
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    $\begingroup$ For a most simple tasks & jobs you don't need any more intelligence than chimps already have, what you do need are changes to social & (what for people we'd call) 'personality' traits, what we call 'domestication' in most species we've done it to & all things that have been demonstrated as possible breed for within very few generations if you've the resources & manpower to go at it properly. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Nov 10 at 3:38
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    $\begingroup$ No you really don't, what jobs do you think the OP is talking about, something that requires a PHD? if it can be trained to do a thing under supervision then you don't need more intelligence than it has you just need it to be less easily distracted & more focused on the tasks it's taught, no more intelligence is needed for that, just different social & psychological traits so that once set a task it's been trained to it will stick to it rather than becoming distracted & return to it after the distraction has passed if it is distracted. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Nov 10 at 3:47
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    $\begingroup$ ^ That's for simple jobs I can imagine a chimp being trained to do (supermarket trolley boy, that sort of thing), I'm assuming that's what theOP is on about & just wants them doing it unsupervised, if the OP wants them to be car mechanics that's a different kettle of fish entirely of course, you probably need @ least the intelligence of an 8 year old & maybe more for that $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Nov 10 at 4:02
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We are still at the stage that we don't know most of the molecular mechanism that how our body works. Even one day we know that, we still don't know how brain-to-mind works. So we can never be sure whether we can train monkey (or any specie that have a complex enough brain) to do advanced human things. Without theory support, the only thing we can do is to try and try like Edison did.

For complex and mysterious system like brain/mind, every thing is possible, it just still doesn't happen. Maybe a new special method of stimulation/training, or maybe a few gene modifications that make monkey trainable with existing methods. Any of this will triger another revolution like the 20th century physics did.

But the key is that that is not enough. You train moneys to be like human, then they will demand rights and more, and finally get that through wars just like we did. They won't work without demand like you expected. They are just us, and there are already enough us and we don't need more. So the even more hard question is how to train money to be human with no demands which I suppose is impposible.

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