silky wrote:
On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM, Stathis Papaioannou
<stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
2010/1/19 silky <michaelsli...@gmail.com>:
On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 1:24 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
2010/1/18 silky <michaelsli...@gmail.com>:
It would be my (naive) assumption, that this is arguably trivial to
do. We can design a program that has a desire to 'live', as desire to
find mates, and otherwise entertain itself. In this way, with some
other properties, we can easily model simply pets.
Brent's reasons are valid,
Where it falls down for me is that the programmer should ever feel
guilt. I don't see how I could feel guilty for ending a program when I
know exactly how it will operate (what paths it will take), even if I
can't be completely sure of the specific decisions (due to some
randomisation or whatever) I don't see how I could ever think "No, you
can't harm X". But what I find very interesting, is that even if I
knew *exactly* how a cat operated, I could never kill one.
That's not being rational then, is it?

Exactly my point! I'm trying to discover why I wouldn't be so rational
there. Would you? Do you think that knowing all there is to know about
a cat is unpractical to the point of being impossible *forever*, or do
you believe that once we do know, we will simply "end" them freely,
when they get in our way? I think at some point we *will* know all
there is to know about them, and even then, we won't end them easily.
Why not? Is it the emotional projection that Brent suggests? Possibly.


but I don't think making an artificial
animal is as simple as you say.
So is it a complexity issue? That you only start to care about the
entity when it's significantly complex. But exactly how complex? Or is
it about the unknowningness; that the project is so large you only
work on a small part, and thus you don't fully know it's workings, and
then that is where the guilt comes in.
Obviously intelligence and the ability to have feelings and desires
has something to do with complexity. It would be easy enough to write
a computer program that pleads with you to do something but you don't
feel bad about disappointing it, because you know it lacks the full
richness of human intelligence and consciousness.

Indeed; so part of the question is: Qhat level of complexity
constitutes this? Is it simply any level that we don't understand? Or
is there a level that we *can* understand that still makes us feel
that way? I think it's more complicated than just any level we don't
understand (because clearly, I "understand" that if I twist your arm,
it will hurt you, and I know exactly why, but I don't do it).

I don't think you know exactly why, unless you solved the problem of connecting qualia (pain) to physics (afferent nerve transmission) - but I agree that you know it heuristically.

For my $0.02 I think that not understanding is significant because it leaves a lacuna which we tend to fill by projecting ourselves. When people didn't understand atmospheric physics they projected super-humans that produced the weather. If you let some Afghan peasants interact with a fairly simple AI program, such as used in the Loebner competition, they might well conclude you had created an artificial person; even though it wouldn't fool anyone computer literate.

But even for an AI that we could in principle understand, if it is complex enough and acts enough like an animal I think we would feel ethical concerns for it. I think a more difficult case is an intelligence which is so alien to us we can't project our feelings on it's behavior. Stanislaw Lem has written stories on this theme: "Solaris", "His Masters Voice", "Return from the Stars", "Fiasco". There doesn't seem to be much recognition of this possibility on this list. There's generally an implicit assumption that we know what consciousness is, we have it, and that's the only possible kind of consciousness. All OMs are human OMs. I think that's one interesting thing about Bruno's theory; it is definite enough (if I understand it) that it could elucidate different kinds of consciousness. For example, I think Searle's Chinese room is conscious - but in a different way than we are.

Brent
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