10 found
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  1. All too human? Identifying and mitigating ethical risks of Social AI.Henry Shevlin - manuscript
    This paper presents an overview of the risks and benefits of Social AI, understood as conversational AI systems that cater to human social needs like romance, companionship, or entertainment. Section 1 of the paper provides a brief history of conversational AI systems and introduces conceptual distinctions to help distinguish varieties of Social AI and pathways to their deployment. Section 2 of the paper adds further context via a brief discussion of anthropomorphism and its relevance to assessment of human-chatbot relationships. Section (...)
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  2. Consciousness, Machines, and Moral Status.Henry Shevlin - manuscript
    In light of recent breakneck pace in machine learning, questions about whether near-future artificial systems might be conscious and possess moral status are increasingly pressing. This paper argues that as matters stand these debates lack any clear criteria for resolution via the science of consciousness. Instead, insofar as they are settled at all, it is likely to be via shifts in public attitudes brought about by the increasingly close relationships between humans and AI users. Section 1 of the paper I (...)
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    Non‐human consciousness and the specificity problem: A modest theoretical proposal.Henry Shevlin - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (2):297-314.
    Most scientific theories of consciousness are challenging to apply outside the human case insofar as non‐human systems (both biological and artificial) are unlikely to implement human architecture precisely, an issue I call the specificity problem. After providing some background on the theories of consciousness debate, I survey the prospects of four approaches to this problem. I then consider a fifth solution, namely the theory‐light approach proposed by Jonathan Birch. I defend a modified version of this that I term the modest (...)
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    Pain, placebo, and cognitive penetration.Henry Shevlin & Phoebe Friesen - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (5):771-791.
    There is compelling evidence that pain experience is influenced by cognitive states. We explore one specific form of such influence, namely placebo analgesia, and examine its relevance for the cognitive penetration debate in philosophy of mind. We single out as important a form of influence on experience that we term radical cognitive penetration, and argue that some cases of placebo analgesia constitute compelling instances of this phenomenon. Still, we urge caution in extrapolating from this to broader conclusions about cognitive penetration (...)
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  5. How Could We Know When a Robot was a Moral Patient?Henry Shevlin - 2021 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 30 (3):459-471.
    There is growing interest in machine ethics in the question of whether and under what circumstances an artificial intelligence would deserve moral consideration. This paper explores a particular type of moral status that the author terms psychological moral patiency, focusing on the epistemological question of what sort of evidence might lead us to reasonably conclude that a given artificial system qualified as having this status. The paper surveys five possible criteria that might be applied: intuitive judgments, assessments of intelligence, the (...)
     
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  6.  60
    Which Animals Matter?Henry Shevlin - 2020 - Philosophical Topics 48 (1):177-200.
    Most people will grant that we bear special moral obligations toward at least some nonhuman animals that we do not bear toward inanimate objects like stones, mountains, or works of art. These moral obligations are plausibly grounded in the fact that many if not all nonhuman animals share important psychological states and capacities with us, such as consciousness, suffering, and goal-directed behavior. But which of these states and capacities are really critical for a creature’s possessing moral status, and how can (...)
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  7. General intelligence: an ecumenical heuristic for artificial consciousness research?Henry Shevlin - 2020 - Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness 7 (2):245-256.
    The science of consciousness has made great strides in recent decades. However, the proliferation of competing theories makes it difficult to reach consensus about artificial consciousness. While for purely scientific purposes we might wish to adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude, we may soon face practical and ethical questions about whether, for example, agents artificial systems are capable of suffering. Moreover, many of the methods used for assessing consciousness in humans and even non-human animals are not straightforwardly applicable to artificial (...)
     
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  8. The Limits of Machine Intelligence.Henry Shevlin, Karina Vold, Matthew Crosby & Marta Halina - 2019 - EMBO Reports 49177 (20).
    Despite there being little consensus on what intelligence is or how to measure it, the media and the public have become increasingly preoccupied with the concept owing to recent accomplishments in machine learning and research on artificial intelligence (AI). Governments and corporations are investing billions of dollars to fund researchers who are keen to produce an ever‐expanding range of artificial intelligent systems. More than 30 countries have announced such research initiatives over the past 3 years 1. For example, the EU (...)
     
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  9.  72
    Rethinking creative intelligence: comparative psychology and the concept of creativity.Henry Shevlin - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-21.
    The concept of creativity is a central one in folk psychological explanation and has long been prominent in philosophical debates about the nature of art, genius, and the imagination. The scientific investigation of creativity in humans is also well established, and there has been increasing interest in the question of whether the concept can be rigorously applied to non-human animals. In this paper, I argue that such applications face serious challenges of both a conceptual and methodological character, reflecting deep controversies (...)
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    Deep Learning Applied to Scientific Discovery: A Hot Interface with Philosophy of Science.Louis Vervoort, Henry Shevlin, Alexey A. Melnikov & Alexander Alodjants - 2023 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 54 (2):339-351.
    We review publications in automated scientific discovery using deep learning, with the aim of shedding light on problems with strong connections to philosophy of science, of physics in particular. We show that core issues of philosophy of science, related, notably, to the nature of scientific theories; the nature of unification; and of causation loom large in scientific deep learning. Therefore, advances in deep learning could, and ideally should, have impact on philosophy of science, and vice versa. We suggest lines of (...)
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