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Legal rights of conscious computers


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“On Genes, Memes, Bemes & Conscious Things”, Martine Rothblatt

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Legal rights of conscious computers

  1. 1. LEGAL RIGHTS OF CONSCIOUS COMPUTERS or Why U R Transbeman 2 “ On Genes, Memes, Bemes & Conscious Things” Martine Rothblatt ImmInst.Org Life Extension Conference (Atlanta)
  2. 2. 3 Purposes of this Presentation: <ul><li>Define Relevant Terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consciousness, Computers, Legal Rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Introduce New Terms Needed for Legal Rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bemes v. Memes, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BNA v. DNA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beman v. Human </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transbemanism v. Transhuman </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify Implications and Consequences </li></ul>
  3. 3. First, Though, The Bottom Line <ul><li>People have legal rights because they are members of the ruling class </li></ul><ul><li>The ruling class is effectively defined as conscious persons with human DNA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of consciousness or ability to reason will result in no or very limited rights (custodial status) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of human DNA will result in animal rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I propose we redefine the ruling class so that it includes conscious computers </li></ul>
  4. 4. Like Pioneers Have Said Legal Rights Humanness Mcnally & Inayatullah: The Rights of Robots, 1988 Different cultures have different criteria for granting rights , but in the West it depends on how close you are to being a human individual. In other cultures you can be a tree and have rights .
  5. 5. And Recent Experts Too <ul><li>・ Friendly AI is an attempt to get rid of the concept of &quot;Asimov Laws&quot; (external programmatic constraints on an AI) and </li></ul><ul><ul><li>replace it with a solution which works even if the AI has unrestricted access to its own source code; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>get past the &quot;us vs. them&quot; attitude that currently permeates discussion of AI, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resolve the technical and moral issues involved with standing, not just in loco parentis, but in loco evolution, to a new intelligent species. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. 1st Purpose of this Presentation: <ul><li>Define Relevant Terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consciousness, Computers, Legal Rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Introduce New Terms Needed for Legal Rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bemes v. Memes, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BNA v. DNA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beman v. Human </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transbemanism v. Transhuman </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify Implications and Consequences </li></ul>
  7. 7. What do we mean by “conscious” <ul><li>No consensus exists </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t measure subjective </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness segmentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A ccess, P henomena, M onitoring, S elf </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cdr. Data Theories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognition  consciousness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Zombie Theories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognition  unconscious </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Like pornography </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t define, but know it when we see it (Justice Potter Stewart) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community standards (us) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What Do We Mean by Computer? <ul><li>Something that processes information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has hardware/software enabling it to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>take-in data e.g. senses/sensors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>store, organize, manipulate, combine & take decisions based upon such data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>output data e.g., communicate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What Is a Conscious Computer? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditionally, something that is self-aware </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But only self is aware of that; too subjective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectively: Autonomous, Communicative (mind-shares) & Transcendent (empathetic) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Examples of Conscious Computers Yes Yes Yes Bible God Yes Yes Yes MICHAEL No No No Laptop No No Maybe Spider Limited Limited Often Dog Transcend Comm Autonomy Something
  10. 10. Consciousness of Computers Is Matter of Degree <ul><li>One can be more or less conscious </li></ul><ul><li>One can seem more conscious to some and less conscious to others </li></ul><ul><li>One’s consciousness can develop as one matures </li></ul><ul><li>Consciousness requires persuasion of other conscious beings that you are in their club </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maybe just an EEG signal for humans today </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Required co-ethnicity of humans in the recent past </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turing Tests for non-flesh beings in near future </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence of General intelligence, not just AI but AGI </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. How Can Conscious Computers Be a Lifeform? <ul><li>&quot;Living things are organized, take materials and energy from the environment, respond to stimuli, reproduce and develop, and adapt to the environment.&quot; Definition of Life, S. Mader, BIOLOGY, 6th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1998, p. 2-4. </li></ul><ul><li>Computers can meet that definition </li></ul><ul><li>But to be a Member of the Human Club, don’t you need genes? </li></ul><ul><li>Won’t some refuse to give the rights of the species to anyone not of the species? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Legal Rights Are the Flip Side of Legal Obligations <ul><li>The right to life is conditional upon not taking the life of another person </li></ul><ul><li>The right to vote is conditional upon not being convicted of a felony </li></ul><ul><li>The right to most things is conditional upon legal obligation compliance </li></ul><ul><li>There is no such thing as a right without a corresponding obligation, and vice-versa </li></ul><ul><li>Thus the legal rights of conscious computers is paced by their obligation compliance </li></ul>
  13. 13. Two-Step Process, With Many Gradations of Rights Computer Evidences Consciousness Persuades Other “MOC”? (members of club) Complies With Club’s Rules? N Y N Y “ Protections” of uniqueness or lifeform Rights of a baby, lunatic or felon In the Next Decade(s)… Full Human Rights
  14. 14. Speaking of Legal Rights…. <ul><li>We all need legal help </li></ul><ul><li>We need it more than most others because of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cryonics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Downloading our consciousness into computers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-uploading our consciousness into cellular regenerated and/or nanotechnological bodies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I recommend everyone protect themselves with pre-paid legal services </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talk to Gabe, Tiffany or Asata here from Prepaid Legal Services “If you prepay your cryonics, why not your logal services too?” </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. 2nd Purpose of this Presentation: <ul><li>Define Known Terms Relevant to Presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consciousness, Computers, Legal Rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Introduce New Terms Needed for Legal Rights for Conscious Computers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bemes v. Memes, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BNA v. DNA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beman v. Human </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transbemanism v. Transhuman </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify Implications and Consequences </li></ul>
  16. 16. Introducing “Bemes” <ul><li>Bemes = Fundamental, transmissable, mutatable units of beingness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Units of mannerism, personality, feelings, recollections, beliefs, attitudes & values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each beme comprised of large number of “bemiotides” much like gene base pairs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Beme is Mightier than the Gene </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Humans are more accurately described by their bemes than by their genes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cryonics is based upon beme revival </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common bemes is new basis for species definition </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Bemes versus Memes <ul><li>A unit of beingness </li></ul><ul><li>Bred from experience </li></ul><ul><li>Success = f(Storage) </li></ul><ul><li>Examples = mannerisms, personality , recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes & values </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr expression v. Flickr community (a meme) </li></ul><ul><li>Martine Rothblatt, Bemes, Memes & Conscious Things 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>A unit of imitation </li></ul><ul><li>Bred from culture </li></ul><ul><li>Success = f(Replication) </li></ul><ul><li>Examples = “tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches.” </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Dawkins , The Selfish Gene , OUP, 1989 at p. 192. </li></ul>
  18. 18. What is Beman BNA? <ul><ul><li>Beman </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>= Bio-Electric Humans </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>= Entities with human thought patterns that meet the biological definition of life directly or via electronics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: homo sapiens , Mike from Moon is a Harsh Mistress , Robin Williams in Millennium Man </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BNA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>= Beme Neural Architecture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>= The substrate of a beman’s unique mind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: Neurons or Coding that store and enable us to share our mannerisms, personalities, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. What’s the Point? <ul><li>DNA is like skin tone and gender </li></ul><ul><ul><li>an irrelevant “bodyist” approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BNA addresses our preciousness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our personality; our mind; our thoughts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Human is like Caucasian or Female </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A label of division that leads to division </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beman is like People or Citizen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A term of inclusiveness that begets union </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Introducing the Transbemans Species: Persona Creatus <ul><li>Transbemans are B io- E lectric Hu mans Who Trans cend Beme Substrate </li></ul><ul><li>Substrate is to Bemes as “Race” is to Genes </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Anthropology : Transbemans ( Persona Creatus ) are defined by a shared set of bemes, including many polymorphisms </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Anthropology: Persona Creatus is the species that uses its imagination to create new ideas/things/bemes; a species that forms images in a mind (I.e. a conscious computer) even of things it never directly experienced </li></ul>
  21. 21. Who Is a Transbeman? <ul><li>Test 1 : values human rights & obligations (thought patterns) </li></ul><ul><li>Test 2 : meets bio definition of life +/- electronics </li></ul><ul><li>Test 3 : An entity who identifies with life based on apparent consciousness more than apparent sex, race or substrate </li></ul>
  22. 22. Transbeman Test Cases YES YES NO Test 3 -- Mind Trumps Substrate YES YES YES Test 2 -- Meets life definition NO YES YES Test 1 -- Human Thought Patterns Borg Collective Ray Kurzweil The Pope
  23. 23. Why Need New Word? <ul><li>No word exists to describe a species that includes humans and new conscious beings </li></ul><ul><li>No word exists to describe species that reproduce via bemes (software) instead of genes </li></ul>
  24. 24. Problems with Other Words <ul><li>“ Transhumans” doesn’t work for same reason we are not called “transmonkeys” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Hominids” doesn’t work because new conscious beings are likely non-flesh </li></ul>
  25. 25. Why This Particular Word <ul><li>Trans = across humans & new conscious beings </li></ul><ul><li>Be = states of existence </li></ul><ul><li>Man = anchored in humanity </li></ul><ul><li>B=bio & e=electric; so bemans are bio-electric humans (rely on IT or humanized software) </li></ul><ul><li>Trans = across & beme = unit of beingness </li></ul>
  26. 26. What Is Transbemanism <ul><li>Belief in the unity through diversity of all conscious entities who grow to value human rights & obligations </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in improving the environment so that all conscious entities can reach their full potential </li></ul>
  27. 27. Transbemanists & Transhumanists + Eugenics : Improve humans + Euthenics : Improve environment MEANS TO THE END Expand power & capability of human species Experience true joy & avoid suffering PURPOSE OF LIFE TRANS- HUMANIST TRANS- BEMANIST
  28. 28. Philosophical Differences Reason is Absolute & Trumps Values Core Values Absolute & Trump Reason ROLE OF REASON AND VALUES Utilitarian (most good for most people) Deontological (unity/diversity dictates policy) SCHOOL OF THOUGHT TRANS- HUMANISM TRANS- BEMANISM
  29. 29. Psychology of Transbemanism <ul><li>“ Our godlike qualities rest upon and need our animal qualities. Our adulthood should not be only a renunciation of childhood, but an inclusion of its good values and a building upon it. Higher values are hierarchically integrated with lower values. Ultimately, dichotomizing pathologizes, and pathology dichotomizes.” Maslow, A., Toward a Psychology of Being , 3rd Ed., 192 (1999) </li></ul>
  30. 30. Transhumanists’ Catch-22: Positive Eugenics Not for Me <ul><li>Must have popular support to legalize radical life extension </li></ul><ul><li>People who are “needy” will perceive H+ in warped fashion (through their own deficiences) </li></ul><ul><li>Needy masses will irrationally oppose H+ </li></ul><ul><li>H+ reason-based ethos unpersuasive to most </li></ul>
  31. 31. Transbemanist Resolution: Euthenics Is for All of Us <ul><li>Seek popular support to solve people’s needs </li></ul><ul><li>People whose basic needs are met, will be more receptive to new opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Masses will now support B+ technologies </li></ul><ul><li>B+ values-based ethos resonates better with mass of humanity </li></ul>
  32. 32. Philosophical Comparisons <ul><li>Transhumanism : Any philosophy of life that seeks the acceleration of our development beyond its current human limitations by means of science, technology, creativity and other rational methods. Max More, 1998 rev. </li></ul><ul><li>Transbemanism : A philosophy that values diversity, unity and joyful life across conscious substrates achieved via the implementation of euthenic policies and transformative technology. Martine Rothblatt, 2005 </li></ul>
  33. 33. More H+ & B+ Comparisons <ul><li>Transhumanism Philosophy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on “beyond current human limitations” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on “acceleration of development” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human body focused </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transbemanism Philosophy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on “unifying human and other conscious beings” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on “environmental improvements” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socio-environment focused </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. H+ & B+ Are Two Points on Continuum of Critical Path for Future Philosophies Sociological Evolution Technological Evolution Transhumanists Transbemanists Both B+ & H+ Push/Pull Line Outward at  45 
  35. 35. Transhumanist Compared to Transbemanist Checklist We are We Us v. Them Posthumans ok to be human left behind Humanity nano build; good left behind; bad God Inevitable step darwinian duty Immortality main focus not main issue Joyfulness continuum next stage Conscious AI + euthenics + eugenics Main tool transgendered transsexual Similar trans across, thru From > to Trans means Transbemanist Transhumanist
  36. 36. More Commonality Than Difference Self/Envir-onment Interface Digitizing Self to Extend Life Digitize Environment To Extend Life B+ H+
  37. 37. H+ (Neuromancer) Synergy With B+ (Wintermute) Foretold By W. Gibson <ul><li>“ Wintermute was hive mind, decision-maker, effecting change in the world outside. Neuromancer was personality. Neuromancer was immortality. …Wintermute [had] the compulsion that had driven the thing to free itself, to unite with Neuromancer.” </li></ul>
  38. 38. 3rd Purpose of this Presentation: <ul><li>Define Known Terms Relevant to Presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consciousness, Computers, Legal Rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Introduce New Terms Needed for Legal Rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bemes v. Memes, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BNA v. DNA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beman v. Human </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transbemanism v. Transhuman </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify Implications and Consequences of Transbemanism for Legal Rights for Conscious Computers </li></ul>
  39. 39. Implications for Legal Rights for Conscious Computers <ul><li>Transbemanism needs to start being spread </li></ul><ul><ul><li>so that society welcomes conscious computers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conscious computers can be friendly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>if accepted as part of the ruling class but not if rejected as part of an oppressed class </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Law is a self-fulfilling prophecy : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Legislate a machine-human civilization, I.e., transbemanism, and we will get a joyful world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legislate an apartheid of substrate, I.e., DNAist laws, and we will get an angry world </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Next Steps <ul><li>Voting Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Acquisition of Citizenship </li></ul><ul><li>Application of Family Laws </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptation of Legal Obligations </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptation of Legal Sanctions </li></ul><ul><li>Proposed Project: A Model Code of Transbeman Law </li></ul>
  41. 41. What Are the Legal Rights of Conscious Computers (C 2 )? <ul><li>It Depends if C 2 R Us or if C 2 R Them </li></ul><ul><li>If We R Transbeman 2, then C 2 R Us </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Same obligations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Same rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If We R Not B+, then C 2 R Them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer obligations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For as long as we rule… </li></ul></ul>