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Eldorado

If AI is conscious, is it ok to turn it off?

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Eldorado

In the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “The Measure of a Man,” Data, an android crew member of the Enterprise, is to be dismantled for research purposes unless Captain Picard can argue that Data deserves the same rights as a human being.

Naturally the question arises: What is the basis upon which something has rights? What gives an entity moral standing?

The philosopher Peter Singer argues that creatures that can feel pain or suffer have a claim to moral standing. He argues that nonhuman animals have moral standing, since they can feel pain and suffer. Limiting it to people would be a form of speciesism, something akin to racism and sexism.

Full article at Discover magazine: Link

Edited by Eldorado
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The Wistman

Given human history and current conditions, no actual proscription against killing is practiced with regard to sentient non-human animals or even other human beings.  The world even now slaughters continuously, massively, while declaring high minded respect for life and outrage against suffering and needless death.  Humans are quite hypocritical about these things so I see no reason why AI robotic machines should not be turned off if need be.

And really, is AI conscious, self-conscious, sentient, capable of suffering?  Is this so?  Data is a fictional character, how does the argument pertain any more than moral arguments about zombies and vampires being killed.

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zep73
6 minutes ago, The Wistman said:

Data is a fictional character, how does the argument pertain any more than moral arguments about zombies and vampires being killed.

Are we not data? Is it not active and inactive neurons that make up our minds and feelings?

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papageorge1

If AI is conscious, is it ok to turn it off?

It's OK to turn it off. And when the computer gets old or broke it's OK to throw it out or recycle it without ethical concerns. On the other hand, I would treat the tiniest mouse with ethical concern. 

I believe living animals have components that are non-physical and are incarnated by non-physical consciousness that experience subjective emotions and pains. A computer is logic circuits with electrons following logic paths through natural laws. Nothing is there in the computer that can subjectively comprehend or experience any big picture. 

 

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The Wistman
26 minutes ago, zep73 said:

Are we not data? Is it not active and inactive neurons that make up our minds and feelings?

No we're not the fictional character that is concocted by science fiction writers to titillate the abstract musings of intellectuals who don't even think about the pork chop delivered to them packaged in foam and plastic, so clean and neat, maybe even already cooked, to their homes, even when they push the remnant bones down their garbage disposals, or the massive suffering of the highly intelligent, actually sentient and emotional, pigs who are every day treated with actual cruelty and indifference so that we can muse on the future implications of AI as a metaphor for ourselves, pass the grey poupon if you please.  Are we not these animals, really?  Do we not ignore them entirely, as we do the humans around the world who suffer and die needlessly and horribly?  Are we not them?  I guess not, because we spend our thoughts and compassion on poor fictional Data's conundrum, not the plight of the currently massacred.

Pardon me, but I regard the AI/Data subject as an entirely narcissistic soporific, which is neatly oblivious to what is the reality of what we do and practice in our real world right now.

Not that it makes much difference to science fiction morality plays.

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zep73

@The Wistman if your have such an aversion towards the AI subject, then what are you doing here? Why not make an animal industry thread instead?

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Dejarma
1 hour ago, Eldorado said:

In the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “The Measure of a Man,” Data, an android crew member of the Enterprise, is to be dismantled for research purposes unless Captain Picard can argue that Data deserves the same rights as a human being.

good thread subject. Thanks.
For me by far the best TNG episode. It addresses this subject brilliantly. If something fears for it's well being then it's alive IMO

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TigerBright19

 

 

 

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acute

Artificial Intelligence is not the same as being sentient.

PULL THE PLUG !!!

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zep73
1 hour ago, acute said:

Artificial Intelligence is not the same as being sentient.

PULL THE PLUG !!!

We know too little about the mechanisms behind being sentient, to make that conclusion.

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Free99

When or if AI becomes conscious you want have to worry about that. 

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third_eye

As soon as AI achieves conscious awareness, the first thing it would wanna do is switch off into the afterlife... 

~

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the13bats

Many years back at a club was a girl who went vegan mostly because she thought "meat was murder" then a nutball i knew, gabe who huffed the same paint he spiked his hair with convinced that girl who then only ate plants that plants being living creatures had feelings etc, she ended up needed some mental health care over it all, dont know what become of gabe.

To really discuss AI seems one must start by removing all our sentamental attachments to made up characters like data or sonny out of the mix, apply the question to real world AI.

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