Re: Ethical experimentation on AIs

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Sat Oct 20 2007 - 21:14:38 MDT

On 21/10/2007, Harry Chesley <> wrote:

> The question: Are we ethically in the clear to experiment on AIs under
> the assumption that we won't accidentally create AIs that feel pain or
> fear death?

We tend to behave as if the ability to feel pain, fear etc. is
directly proportional to how similar the entity in question is to a
human. For example, there is no compelling reason to believe that the
death throes of a fly exposed to insecticide are not associated with
terrible agony, but we ignore this possibility anyway. With computers,
at least, there will not be billions of years of evolution pushing at
every step to ensure that aversive stimuli are as unpleasant as

Stathis Papaioannou

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