Matthieu Miossec

Doctoral Student - Genetic Medecine (Congenital Heart Disease),

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Provided machines one day acquire our level of consciousness, what kind of ethical issues would inter-material love raise, if any?

We're still far from living side by side with self-conscious machines, but I'd be interested to know how everyone would react to inter-material relationships in this speculative future. This could a fun exercise in anticipation.

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    Sep 5 2011: By the point they reach our level of consciousness they will have far surpassed our speed of thought. That would probably make us about as appealing as partners as cats. Why would they date us?
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    Sep 4 2011: If they do acquire "our level" of consciousness society will adapt accordingly! It's hard to predict how this will work so it'll definitely be the work of evolution. Surely a trail & error process.

    There are a few blaring issues with marriage that I see. If a man marries an android, the android may live for a millennium, whilst the human may only live for a century... maybe two or three eventually.

    When the two marry, it would be understood that upon the passing of the human, the android would receive the estate.

    There would also be a strange situation arising with raising children. Assuming they have the right to adopt... The child would age much faster than it's android parent. What would happen? Would the android just move on to another (younger) spouse once the grandchildren have been raised? I have no idea how families would deal with this.

    Also, the constitution would require amendments to balance the workforce. An android could have a mental capacity 10^10 (a power of ten) times greater than his human counterparts. Would they be allowed to have capitalist-type jobs?

    Androids & crime... How do you sentence someone to life in prison if they're going to live for 2,000 years? The punishment itself would be a crime. Surely if they require our level of sentience they'll be free to do as they please. Some may commit crimes. Crimes committed by humans are often the result of a lack of the ability to see the consequences of actions. It's a defect. Is it a consequence of consciousness? Or could it be could be something that the AI will conquer? Who could say?
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    Sep 4 2011: As much as a robot that can distinguish between sorrow and happiness in a human being and try to comfort them with Quotes, influential talks, or motivating stories, I believe its going to be a challenge to replace the real human affection. Even if that is replace (with some sort of sensors) for physical touch, the next barrier would be to over come the fact that everything they do and say is programmed by someone with If's and Else's.
    But nevertheless we all need someone who can simply listen to what we have to say, so maybe they might come in handy, but lets hope they dont replace us.
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    Sep 5 2011: Do you really think this will ever happen? Would a machine love life as we do and be thrilled by sunset? Could it desire to know itself? Will it fight or care or have a passion to know the universe?

    If you just could see that consciousness, and I do not mean self-awareness, that it is the cause of being and all that exist and not any result. We can only be self-conscious because of all that we are not. It is our mirror out which we distinguish ourselves.