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Eric Schwitzgebel: “We Might Soon Build AI Who Deserve Rights”


In this Philosopher’s Holiday Lecture, Professor Eric Schwitzgebel of the University of California, Riverside, will discuss the proposition that artificially intelligent machines might someday deserve rights equivalent to human rights. The fact that they are not human, and are our creations, would not give them lower moral status, as long as they have conscious experiences like ours. But will they have conscious experiences like ours, and when, and how could we tell? This throws us straight onto the puzzle of consciousness, for which there is no good solution on the near horizon. Subhuman, superhuman, and divergent AI make the potential problem even more confusing.

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