Artificial intelligence is intelligence built as an artefact by humans. This building can happen either directly or as a part of a technological process, but that technology and the motivation behind it is still necessarily of human origin.
Is it possible that artefacts might themselves be considered moral subjects? Moral patients that deserve our protection, or even moral agents that deserve credit or responsibility for their own actions? And what, if anything, would a robot's consciousness contribute to this question?
After twenty years of involvement in artificial intelligence, Joanna has come to the conclusion that the answers to these questions have less to do with technology and more to do with sceptical enquiry into the origins of our concepts of morality.
Considering the contexts and in which robots might be brought into what we consider to be humanity and the consequences of these may or may not help the robots, but it may help us understand ourselves a great deal better.
Dr Joanna J. Bryson is an academic specialised in two areas: the advancement of systems artificial intelligence (AI), and the use of AI simulations to further the understanding of natural intelligence, including human culture. She holds degrees in behavioural science, psychology and artificial intelligence from Chicago (BA), Edinburgh (MSc and MPhil), and MIT (PhD). She joined The University of Bath in 2002, where she was made a Reader in Computer Science in 2010.
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