cst commonsense

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If, at some future time, 'virtual life' becomes sentient - is this life 'real' and would it be as valid as ours?

Virtuality is here already. As computers and modelling system become ever more complex, at some point in the future the virtual life could become sentient.
This is not so difficult to imagine as computing power continues to improve and the virtual environments can evolve much, much quicker than biological life, maybe many thousands or millions of time quicker, virtual life could evolve.

Lets assume that this may happen, then the question is valid - so what is the answer?

see also 'Creation' a little idea based on this subject


  • Oct 3 2012: The word sentience apparently has many meanings at different philosophical levels, so here is what i am going with as a definition from wiki "Sentience is the ability to feel, perceive, or be conscious, or to have subjective experiences."

    I think the answer is 'no'. We will have survival as a primary instinct. We need food and shelter to survive. We also need to procreate in order for our species to continue. We need to compete and often fight for our existence. These are pretty basic and necessary elements in human life. While a virtual life might be a neat escape or vacation from the drudgery of human existence, it will never be a complete substitute for biological life. We also need to learn the skills and behaviors for survival.

    As a side note, somehow you need to learn the context for a virtual reality in order to appreciate it. Otherwise the journey may end when you hit the computer with a stick to defend yourself form a virtual monster.
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    Oct 2 2012: No,because of one important factor,it's entire existence would rely on power,it can be turned off and it's comprehension and awareness of us depends on us making it known to it right from the start at the designing stage.
    • Oct 4 2012: Wouldn't you consider that we also get turned off? If by old age and malfunction (hopefully), but off we go. We depend on our environment telling us stuff too.
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        Oct 6 2012: Hi ED

        It wouldn't matter as it would not be able to comprehend existence outside of it's environment unless we put it in the design to, if by chance evolve a understanding of it's environment and what it is and where it's place is in relationship with the external reality.In other words we would have to replicate "us" and what we have been through down to a "Tee"

        It's kind of strange having this conversation as some believe this reality is a macro simulation on a grander scale Lol

        Stuck in a blackhole going round and round or cannot accept that there might be a limit to our existence and believe that the universe is actually just one of potentially unlimited amount of created and being created universes but the reality is is that we will never know and it only exists in our minds.The Neurogrid is the latest in computing processing tech that mimics brain processing,look it up on google.
  • Oct 1 2012: Will this new virtual life consider our form of life "real" and "valid?"

    Consider: From the point of view of this new life, It is qualitatively different from our form of life. Human life is just one of trillions of biological species. All species are selfish, and humans are selfish. Our selfish thoughts lead us to believe that we are something special. Our selfish ethics rationalize our use of our cousin species in the same way we use other natural resources, with no concern for anything other than our selfish interests. From our selfish point of view, we ask whether the new Entity is "real", when the evidence is plain and clear in front of us. From the Entity's point of view, completely emotionless, completely rational, do you really think it will consider us to be its philosophical equal? (I doubt it.) Would it consider our judgments to be valid? (I suspect not.)
  • Oct 1 2012: "If, at some future time, 'virtual life' becomes sentient - is this life 'real' and would it be as valid as ours?"

    Why wouldn't it be valid? When the subject is civil rights I think it's always best to start from "they do deserve civil rights and if you don't agree with that find counter-arguments", instead of "they don't deserve civil rights and if you don't agree you can find counter-arguments". I think we should err on the side of caution, so we don't risk creating an unethical situation.
  • Oct 1 2012: Kind of hard to imagine that when all we have, at moment, is a movie or 2.
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    Oct 1 2012: My contract partner today was talking about a plan in the States where you get 30 mb dl speed,he's got the highest dl speed i know of for a private plan for only $40 a month here in Nz, 10 mb dl,7 mb ul speed.The future of tv is Hulu.