Friday, 21 April 2017

Personal Identity

(i) Is Artificial Intelligence possible?
(ii) If yes, will it be possible to record a human personality and to reproduce it as an AI?
(iii) If yes, what are the legal implications for personal identity, responsibility, inheritance etc?

Poul Anderson addressed (i)-(ii) in later works.
John C. Wright addresses (i)-(iii) in The Golden Age.

Regarding (iii), I think that new laws would have to be made. For some discussion, see here. I have just read to a point in Wright's text where lawyers are becoming legally tedious on the issue.

There is another issue. All this reading sf has made me way behind with rereading Stieg Larsson so I will probably do some of that tonight although it is less likely to generate comparisons with Poul Anderson to blog about here. But I won't be away for long though.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Your point (i), is AI possible? I don't know. As of now, it seems unlikely that computers or computer programs can somehow become conscious, self aware, capable of making independent decisions, etc.

    As for your point (ii), I'm even LESS convinced that is possible than I am about AIs. But it is enjoyable to read Anderson and Wright's speculations about such matters.

    As for point (iii), I remember quite well the legal "briefings" given by Wright in THE GOLDEN AGE. It was interesting to see a science fictional treatment of legal problems and implications. Not many SF writers are lawyers!


    1. Sean,
      Point (i): Are computers the kind of processes that can become conscious? No. Can some other kind of artifact become conscious? Yes, if it can duplicate the functions of a brain.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      That little word, "if," in your last sentence is the CRUX of the matter!