Re: AI rights need to be implemented ASAP. But how?

From: Phillip Huggan (
Date: Fri Jan 13 2006 - 16:12:42 MST

Why will *computer programs* above a complexity threshold necessarily have feelings? I don't believe electrons and silicon will do it for machines the way ions and carbon does it for us. It is not likely any arbitrary computer substrate can give rise to minds. There is a fundamental lack of appreciation for they way our brains are different than are computer chips, legos, wooden abacuses, etc. Sure a program could find a blueprint to a mind and engineer it, then we are talking turkey. But I'm sure our legislators have good reason not to believe mere computer codes can be conscious.
  I don't think a mind can be tortured without an endocrine system. I would say that as soon as we start to involve chemical reactions or whatever in our mind architectures, then we have to be careful not to piss it off. I'm sure we have at least a decade to figure these things out, probably much much longer. No need to panic yet.

Arnt Richard Johansen <> wrote:
  First of all, it seems to be very likely that artificial minds above a
certain level of complexity are going to have qualia. The thought
experiment of replacing one neuron at a time ensures that it feels just as
real to be a simulated brain as a biological brain. When it comes to
artificial minds that are built on different systems than that of a
biological neural network, the image is less certain, but it seems
reasonable to suppose that qualia arises from simple properties that are
common to most system that we would describe as "thinking" instead of
merely "calculating", rather than a more complex set of properties that is
unique to a neural network. At least the possibility of artificial minds
with qualia cannot be ruled out!
I think it is very important that artificial minds be given these rights
as soon as possible. Preferably *before* the appearance of the first
real-time human-level brain simulation, or any other human-level AI.

How can we protect the earliest simulated minds against termination or
torture? Legislation is an option, but it is hard to gain consensus to
award rights to a class of entities that does not yet exist, and may not
ever come to exist. Also, we have the major challenge on how to get SL<1
legislators to understand that numbers inside a computer can have feelings

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