[ExI] ai class at stanford

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Tue Aug 30 10:24:49 UTC 2011

On 30 August 2011 00:53, Mike Dougherty <msd001 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have no doubt your approach to iteratively building and tweaking the
> world's most complicated clockwork automaton will yield a machine
> surprisingly adept at acting like a human (even surpassing human
> ability) - but where/when do you call it a person and grant it all the
> rights that people currently hold?

When you choose to do so. This is a sociological, not a philosophical or
technological issue. When you consider an emulated personality of your aunt
as your aunt, then it start making  sense to describe such personality as
"your aunt uploaded", no matter how perfect or coarse the emulation is.

Legal systems wildly differ in this respect but "personality" and "rights"
may already be granted to different extents to entities as different as
corporations, embryos, great apes, non-Turing qualified human beings,
children still-to-be-conceived, municipalities, or denied to human beings in
a coma, stil unborn, in slavery, etc.

Moreover, we routinely project and hallucinate our own subjective states not
only on other human beings, but on animals, plants, collective entities,
minerals, machines, natural phenomena, irrespective of how little
behaviourally anthropomorphic they may be ("my car is angry with me because
I neglected maintenance").

What's the big deal? It is just the humanist paradigm ("all human beings are
both equal amongst themselves and trascendentally different from everything
else") that makes things more complicate than they need to be.

Stefano Vaj
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