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The Edge of Sentience

Risk and Precaution in Humans, Other Animals, and AI

, Birch

The Edge of Sentience

The Edge of Sentience

Risk and Precaution in Humans, Other Animals, and AI

The Edge of Sentience

 

Can octopuses feel pain or pleasure? Can we tell if a person unresponsive after severe injury might be suffering? When does a fetus begin having conscious experiences? These questions about the edge of sentience are subject to enormous uncertainty.


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Beschrijving The Edge of Sentience

This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence. It is free to read on the Oxford Academic platform and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations.

Can octopuses feel pain and pleasure? What about crabs, shrimps, insects or spiders? How do we tell whether a person unresponsive after severe brain injury might be suffering? When does a fetus in the womb start to have conscious experiences? Could there even be rudimentary feelings in miniature models of the human brain, grown from human stem cells? And what about AI?

These are questions about the edge of sentience, and they are subject to enormous, disorienting uncertainty. We desperately want certainty, but it is out of reach. The stakes are immense, and neglecting the risks can have terrible costs. We need to err on the side of caution, yet it's often far from clear what 'erring on the side of caution' should mean in practice. When are we going too far? When are we not doing enough?

The Edge of Sentience presents a comprehensive precautionary framework designed to help us reach ethically sound, evidence-based decisions despite our uncertainty. The book is packed with specific, detailed proposals intended to generate discussion and debate. At no point, however, does it offer any magic tricks to make our uncertainty go away. Uncertainty is with us for the long term. We must manage our uncertainty by taking precautions that are proportionate to the risks. It's time to start debating what those steps should be.


ISBN
9780192870421
Pagina's
384
Verschijnt
NUR
730
Druk
1
Uitvoering
Hardback
Taal
Engels
Uitgever
OUP Oxford

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