Re: Gender Neutral Pronouns

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sat Mar 31 2001 - 19:00:35 MST

Alicia Madsen wrote:
> Well I agree that how humans refer to AIs will probably not matter to AIs in
> the beginning. But when AIs begin to develope a sense of self, they will most
> likely take into account how others refer to them. It will matter then.

I understand this is meant well, but AIs aren't that fragile. The picture
we have in our minds for AIs may show up in our language, and may be
reconstructed by the AI, but then it's just interesting information for
the AI. It wouldn't get mixed up in the AI's self-image unless the AI
thought it bore a reliable resemblance to reality. For a human, our
picture of how others think of us gets naturally mixed up with how we
think of ourselves; for an AI, the sequitur would have to be deliberate.

And you really, really, really don't need to worry about crushing the AI's
fragile self-esteem.

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

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