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Salim Huerta
  • Salim Huerta
  • Flat Rock
  • United States Minor Outlying Islands

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The plausibility of artificially intelligent robots becoming conscious and therefore becoming slaves of humans and the ethical implications.

It is becoming increasingly clear that with advances in technology and esoteric subject areas we are going to develop conscious or conscius simulating robots that will become commercially available.

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  • Oct 4 2012: I like this hypothetical scenario; it creates a thought experiment that makes us understand why forced labor is unethical.

    I would like to start out by defining person. Some individuals use the word "person" interchangeably with the word "human," but that definition focuses on biology and that can become troublesome. I define a person to be an individual that has the ability to make rational decisions. If we define person in this way, we can say that robots have the potential to become "persons."
    This is where the ethical dilemma comes in. If we can create a being that is conscious and makes decisions, then we would have a problem with enslaving that "person."
    But why do we have a problem with slavery?
    Things in life are unethical because of the fact that they create suffering.
    If forced labor makes the robots suffer, then the forced labor would be unethical (same reason why factory farming is unethical; the animals suffer because of it).

    Therefore, the solution to the ethical dilemma in this experiment is simple: do not program the robots to have the ability to suffer.
    • Oct 4 2012: "Therefore, the solution to the ethical dilemma in this experiment is simple: do not program the robots to have the ability to suffer."

      Or just don't build very smart robots, yeah, sounds simple, except you can't guarantee 100% enforcement of such rules in every country on Earth. Since it would be unethical to execute robots with the ability to suffer (who were created in rogue countries or by rogue corporations) we will have a couple of them on our hands sooner or later, this is a given.

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