Designing AI with Rights, Consciousness, Self-Respect, and Freedom

Eric Schwitzgebel, with Mara Garza

in draft

Abstract: We propose four policies of ethical design of human-grade Artificial Intelligence.  Two of our policies are precautionary.  Given substantial uncertainty both about ethical theory and about the conditions under which AI would have conscious experiences, we should be cautious in our handling of cases where different moral theories or different theories of consciousness would produce very different ethical recommendations.  Two of our policies concern respect and freedom.  If we design AI that deserves moral consideration equivalent to that of human beings, that AI should be designed with self-respect and with the freedom to explore values other than those we might impose.  We are especially concerned about the temptation to create human-grade AI pre-installed with the desire to cheerfully sacrifice itself for its creators’ benefit.

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