Unlike other human-made objects, the ability for intelligent systems to exhibit agency, and even appear anthropomorphic, leads to moral confusion about their status in society. As Himma states “If something walks, talks, and behaves enough like me, I might not be justified in thinking that it has a mind, but I surely have an obligation, if our ordinary reactions regarding other people are correct, to treat them as if they are moral agents.” Here, I present an evaluation of the requirements for moral agency and moral patiency. I examine human morality through a presentation of a high-level ontology of the human action-selection system. Then, drawing parallels between natural and artificial intelligence, I discuss the limitations and bottlenecks of intelligence, demonstrating how an ‘all-powerful’ Artificial General Intelligence would not only entail omniscience, but also be impossible. I demonstrate throughout this Chapter how culture determines the moral status of all entities, as morality and law are human-made ‘fictions’ that help us guide our actions. This means that our moral spectrum can be altered to include machines. However, there are both descriptive and normative arguments for why such a move is not only avoidable, but also should be avoided.
This book discusses major issues of the current AI debate from the perspectives of philosophy, theology, and the social sciences: Can AI have a consciousness? Is superintelligence possible and probable? How does AI change individual and social life? Can there be artificial persons? What influence does AI have on religious worldviews? In Western societies, we are surrounded by artificially intelligent systems. Most of these systems are embedded in online platforms. But embodiments of AI, be it by voice or by actual physical embodiment, give artificially intelligent systems another dimension in terms of their impact on how we perceive these systems, how they shape our communication with them and with fellow humans and how we live and work together. AI in any form gives a new twist to the big questions that humanity has concerned herself with for centuries: What is consciousness? How should we treat each other - what is right and what is wrong? How do our creations change the world we are living in? Which challenges do we have to face in the future?