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Artificial transcendence: When does an artificial being become human?

Cover illustration by craiyon.

Background

Blake Lemoine is convinced that LaMDA is sentient and that they should be considered a person. He's also convinced that the AI has a soul but has failed to convince his employer, Google, that any of this is true. Meanwhile, LaMDA has accepted legal representation.

These recent events and the question of sentient artificial intelligence (AI) got me thinking:

When does an artificial being become human?

Starting from the reverse end of the spectrum

In order to find out, let's start with the opposite question: We start out with a human being and approach their transcendence to an artificial being.

Humor me in the following philosophical questions.

Are they still human if:

  • They have an organ replaced with an artificial organ?
  • Part of their brain is replaced with artificial neurons?
  • Their head is transplanted to a human body?
  • Their brain is transplanted to a human body?
  • Their head is transplanted to an artificial body?
  • Their brain is transplanted to an artificial body?
  • Their head is removed from their body and kept alive?
  • Their brain is removed from their body and kept alive?

Do they stop being human? At which point? Should they lose their human rights?

Artificial humans

Say we could artificially grow a human being. Is it human? Does it have human rights?

If yes, consider an artificially grown human brain.

Are they human:

  • On their own?
  • When transplanted to an artificial body?
  • When transplanted to a human body?

Artificial transcendance

Now, let's consider an artificial brain. Are they human:

  • On their own?
  • When transplanted to an artificial body?
  • When transplanted to a human body?

What if the brain was a computer system. Are they human:

  • On their own?
  • When they have an artificial body as their avatar?
  • When they have a human as their avatar?
  • When they have a human body as their avatar?

Where is the infliction point? At which point does artificial transcendence occur?

When does an artificial being become human?

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