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On Hope, Truth, and Lying

February 1, 2017

Comments Off on On Hope, Truth, and Lying

The Trump administration is, for those of us concerned with improving our world, more disturbing than any I have encountered. It’s not that Trump will necessarily make things worse than G.W. Bush, who started two wars, or Ronald Reagan, who began our slide into a society of increasing inequality, or even Barack Obama, who persecuted […]

The Politics of Crybabyism

November 29, 2016

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Perhaps Donald Trump’s most salient psychological characteristic is his tendency to complain loudly and publicly if he does not get his way: that is, his tendency to be a crybaby. So why, then, is he so popular with his supporters? Weren’t they the ones who hated the culture of offense, the sensitiveness that was forcing […]

Programmable Friends

June 18, 2016

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While robots were originally conceived of as laborers, advances in AI and emotional modeling have led to “companion robots” like Aldebaran’s Pepper and Intelligent Systems Co.’s Paro. But a companion is fundamentally unlike a standard worker[1]: labor is by its nature fungible, and companions, if we understand companions as something like friends, are, presumably, non-fungible. Workers […]

Responsibility, Identity and Artificial Beings: Persons, Supra-Persons, and Para-Persons

June 2, 2016

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  Thanks to Justin Caouette for inviting me to the blog. I’ll start with a bit that draws ideas from a paper I’m working on for a book on Robot Ethics: The standard criteria for personhood are not obviously inherently impossible for AIs to obtain: they could be self-conscious, they could regard others as persons, they could […]