Can machines be people? Reflections on the Turing triage test

In Patrick Lin, Keith Abney & George Bekey (eds.), Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics. MIT Press. pp. 301-315 (2012)
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In, “The Turing Triage Test”, published in Ethics and Information Technology, I described a hypothetical scenario, modelled on the famous Turing Test for machine intelligence, which might serve as means of testing whether or not machines had achieved the moral standing of people. In this paper, I: (1) explain why the Turing Triage Test is of vital interest in the context of contemporary debates about the ethics of AI; (2) address some issues that complexify the application of this test; and, (3) in doing so, defend a way of thinking about the question of the moral standing of intelligent machines, which takes the idea of “seriousness” seriously. This last objective is, in fact, my primary one and is motivated by the sense that, to date, much of the “philosophy” of AI has suffered from a profound failure to properly distinguish between things that we can say and things that we can really mean.
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