Do AI Deserve the Same Rights as Animals?


The digital magazine Aeon published a thought-provoking proposal this spring from a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside and an assistant professor of philosophy at Boston's Northeastern University:

Universities across the world are conducting major research on artificial intelligence (AI), as are organizations such as the Allen Institute, and tech companies including Google and Facebook. A likely result is that we will soon have AI approximately as cognitively sophisticated as mice or dogs. Now is the time to start thinking about whether, and under what conditions, these AI might deserve the ethical protections we typically give to animals…

You might think that AI don't deserve that sort of ethical protection unless they are conscious — that is, unless they have a genuine stream of experience, with real joy and suffering. We agree. But now we face a tricky philosophical question: how will we know when we have created something capable of joy and suffering? If the AI is like Data on Star Trek or Dolores on Westworld, it can complain and defend itself, initiating a discussion of its rights. But if the AI is inarticulate, like a mouse or a dog, or if it is for some other reason unable to communicate its inner life to us, it might have no way to report that it is suffering…

We propose the founding of oversight committees that evaluate cutting-edge AI research with these questions in mind. Such committees, much like animal care committees and stem-cell oversight committees, should be composed of a mix of scientists and non-scientists — AI designers, consciousness scientists, ethicists and interested community members. These committees will be tasked with identifying and evaluating the ethical risks of new forms of AI design, armed with a sophisticated understanding of the scientific and ethical issues, weighing the risks against the benefits of the research.

It is likely that such committees will judge all current AI research permissible. On most mainstream theories of consciousness, we are not yet creating AI with conscious experiences meriting ethical consideration. But we might — possibly soon — cross that crucial ethical line. We should be prepared for this.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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Mein Name ist Paul Christoph Feichtinger, geboren am 15.5.1991 in Oberndorf bei Salzburg und mittlerweile stolzer Autor von 11 Büchern (7 in Deutsch und 4 in Englisch), 4 Apps (bald kommt Nummer 5) und dieser Webseite. Bei Paul Solutions bekommen alle Bücher und Apps ihre Form. Sieh dich ruhig ein bisschen auf meiner Webseite um, vielleicht gibt es auch für dich noch das ein oder andere zu entdecken. ;-)

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