Philosophical Zombies

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Steven D. Hales:

"The deep transformation that artificial intelligence will bring to the human spirit:

In zombie movies, the zombies are themselves brainless and to survive must feast on the brains of others. Philosophical zombies are creatures that can do the same things we can, but lack the spark of consciousness. They may write books, compose music, play games, prove novel theorems, and paint canvases, but inside they are empty and dark. From the outside they seem to live, laugh, and love, yet they wholly lack subjective experience of the world or of themselves. Philosophers have wondered whether their zombies are even possible, or if gaining the rudimentary tools of cognition must eventually build a tower topped in consciousness. If zombies are possible, then why are we conscious and not the zombies, given that they can do everything we can? Why do we have something extra?

The risk now is that we are tessellating the world with zombies of both kinds: AIs that are philosophical zombies, and human beings who have wholly outsourced original thinking and creativity to those AIs, and must feast on their brainchildren to supplant what we have given up. Why bother to go through the effort of writing, painting, composing, learning languages, or really much of anything when an AI can just do it for us faster and better? We will just eat their brains."