The Power Of Dehumanization: A Human As A Human?
In “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion,” by Mary Anne Warren, Warren suggests “that the traits which are most central to the concept of personhood” are consciousness, reasoning, self-motivated activity, the capacity to communicate, and the presence of self-concepts or self-awareness. This does not lend any room for computers or other inanimate objects, like Searle argues in “Minds, Brains, and Programs.” In Searle’s Chinese Room argument, he argues that computers work off of symbol manipulation, and are in fact just made up of a bunch of Chinese rooms that serve the purpose of manipulating symbols. This argument continues in his reply to robots: he argues that even if you were to put the Chinese room with him in it, inside the robot “with the Chinese symbols coming from a television camera attached to the robot”, he would still not “understand anything except the rules for symbol manipulation. (Hauser)” Because computers and all other forms of artificial intelligence work solely off of networks of Chinese rooms, and do not have qualia - an internal, subjective life - it is not possible that they could actually be human, or have any actual form of personhood. In fact, the only way that they could have “personhood” is if an organic human brain were recreated for the machine to use. So, for that reason, even though David, the protagonist of Steven Spielberg’s film A.I Artificial Intelligence, is both loving and adorable, there’s really no real moral issue with treating him differently than one might treat an actual human being; after all, David may look and act like a human, but he’s not. While David may show the five concepts of personhood, he is only replicating those concepts; because he is a man-made machine without an organic human brain, he is not able to