Do No Harm Policy for Minds in Other Substrates


  • Soenke Ziesche Maldives National University
  • Roman V. Yampolskiy University of Louisville



Various authors have argued that in the future not only will it be technically feasible for human minds to be transferred to other substrates, but this will become, for most humans, the preferred option over the current biological limitations. It has even been claimed that such a scenario is inevitable in order to solve the challenging, but imperative, multi-agent value alignment problem. In all these considerations, it has been overlooked that, in order to create a suitable environment for a particular mind – for example, a personal universe in a computational substrate – numerous other potentially sentient beings will have to be created. These range from non-player characters to subroutines. This article analyzes the additional suffering and mind crimes that these scenarios might entail. We offer a partial solution to reduce the suffering by imposing on the transferred mind the perception of indicators to measure potential suffering in non-player characters. This approach can be seen as implementing literal empathy through enhanced cognition.




How to Cite

Do No Harm Policy for Minds in Other Substrates. (2019). Journal of Ethics and Emerging Technologies, 29(2), 1-11.

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