Re: Gender Neutral Pronouns

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 20:13:31 MST

"Christian L." wrote:
> Point 2 is probably more important than you give it credit. Always remember
> that humans are animals who make lots of decisions based on gut feeling.
> Using "she" for AIs could influence the subconscious to think "mother
> figure" instead of "dominant male competing for mates/resources" if you use
> "he".

Yes. I know. That's the problem. The ethical mode of memetic combat is
to make the audience smarter, not dumber. That's what separates the
truthsayers from the fearmongers. If I switched to "she" for the purpose
you describe...

I know that I'm fighting Luddites, not scientists, so I don't underrate
the importance of the subconscious. I just happen to feel that it should
be quite possible for a *cognitive* scientist to fight that kind of battle
while appealing only to emotions that are *structurally* isomorphic to the
truth. This emotion may deliver a more useful interim result, but for the
wrong reasons, so it doesn't meet that criterion.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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