Re: Arbitrarily decide who benefits (was Re: Bounded population)

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Tue Apr 15 2008 - 22:57:03 MDT

Jeff answers the question

> > "Exactly which animals and machines are sentient/conscious?"
> Well, no human knows for certain, of course. But we don't need
> to know, only the AGI needs to be able to make that determination
> - which at least doesn't seem prohibitively complex.

I agree. And I don't think that "exactly" needs to be in the question.

Even at our rudimentary understanding of brains, we've performed
many thousands of inter-species comparison tests, e.g. know which
animals pass the "mirror test", and we can make a pretty good guess
at overall brain complexity, even if we restricted ourselves to brain/
body mass ratios.

Right now on Earth, we wouldn't be far off to just draw the line,
for benefits, at human beings. And as for concerns of suffering,
we err on the side of caution and worry just about the birds and


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