Artificial intelligence and African conceptions of personhood

Ethics and Information Technology 23 (2):127-136 (2021)
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Under what circumstances if ever ought we to grant that Artificial Intelligences (AI) are persons? The question of whether AI could have the high degree of moral status that is attributed to human persons has received little attention. What little work there is employs western conceptions of personhood, while non-western approaches are neglected. In this article, I discuss African conceptions of personhood and their implications for the possibility of AI persons. I focus on an African account of personhood that is prima facie inimical to the idea that AI could ever be ‘persons’ in the sense typically attributed to humans. I argue that despite its apparent anthropocentrism, this African account could admit AI as persons.



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Christopher Wareham
Utrecht University

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Minds, brains, and programs.John Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
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