Re: Gender Neutral Pronouns

From: Arctic Fox (
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 15:15:31 MST

At 21:31 30/03/01, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
>Arctic Fox wrote:
> >
> > A ship is so unlike a human we can safely use "she" without falsely
> > implying a link between ships and people. What to call an AI has to be
> > considered much more carefully. Do we want an AI to be anthropomorphized
> > - this could give people a false impression of what an AI is.
>The question I am now pondering is what the anthropomorphic implications
>of using "she" would be, and whether there's anything too obnoxious that
>will fall out of it. Likewise for giving AIs names like "Aileen" instead
>of "Ailerin".

How about using pronouns with the "v" prefix exclusively for AI's
(ve=vitual he etc). That way we can quickly skim an article and know
instantly whether the subject is a human or AI. And it would make sentences
concerning a human and AI interaction clearer. At the moment it is easy to
tell if the subject is human or AI but soon (hopefully!) it will be harder
to tell at a glance.

When AI's reach or surpass human intelligence we may want to revert back to
(s)he. However, addressing an AI as a human may be insulting to ver/ it: A
bit like a chimpanzee referring to us as a fellow chimp. I like Asimov's
use of the "R" prefix for robots instead of Mr etc, just as we use "Dr" as
a crude way of denoting intelligent persons.


Like computer viruses, successful mind viruses will tend to be hard for
their victims to detect. If you are the victim of one, the chances are that
you won't know it, and may even vigorously deny it. Richard Dawkins

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