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Human rights for robots or robot rights for humans?

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Red Marriott's picture
Red Marriott
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Dec 20 2006 17:05
Human rights for robots or robot rights for humans?
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"Robots may be given the same rights as humans by 2056, an official report claimed today. As part of forward-looking papers sponsored by the chief scientist... one subject dealt with is the treatment of machines in the future....

Henrik Christensen, director of the Centre of Robotics and Intelligent machines at the Georgia Institute of Technology said: "If we make consious robots they would want to have and they probably should."

Robots and machines are now classed as inanimate objects without rights or duties but if artificial intelligence becomes ubiquitous, the report argues there may be calls for human rights to be extended to them.

It is also logical such rights are meted out with citizens' duties icluding voting, paying tax and compulsory military service.

Mr Christensen said: "Would it be acceptable to kick a robotic dog though we shouldn't kick a normal one? There will be people who can't distuish that so we need to have ethical rules to make sure we as humans interact with robots in an ethical manner."

The Horizons Scan reports argues that if "correctly managed", this new world of robot's rights could lead to increased labour output and prosperity..." (London Evening Standard, 20/12/06.)

Some questions: are this report's conclusions fanciful bullshit, expressing only Capital's desire for an ever more submissive and stratified workforce? Or: will a class/caste hierarchy evolve amongst our future robot fellow workers? Will they have gender conflicts? Will they become ideal recruits for some anarchist & communist groups (or do they already have enough robotic memberstongue )? Will some robots work in the sex industry? Will Lone Wolf be counselling depressed robots in the future? Will there be a militant direct action movement (Artificial Intelligence Liberation Front?) in the tradition of animal rights/anti slavery activism etc? What will the robots' take on anarchism/communism be?

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madashell
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Dec 20 2006 17:35
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in the tradition of animal rights/anti slavery activism

Have you ever considered a career in stand up? grin

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Dec 20 2006 21:27

You hoped right, Jack.

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madashell
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Dec 20 2006 22:29

Ah fair dos, I thought you were suggesting that AR stuff is in the same tradition as abolitionism, sorry.

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Dec 20 2006 23:07
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I thought you were suggesting that AR stuff is in the same tradition as abolitionism

Not at all, madashell, I don't equate them at all - I was just speculating that in my mad futuristic hypothesis some people might interpret/equate 'robot rights' in that way.

dara
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Dec 20 2006 23:51

do androids dream of electronic emancipation?

petey
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Dec 21 2006 00:02

can you pull like this?

Red Marriott's picture
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Dec 21 2006 01:27

The robots have their evangelists - you have been warned....

Quote:
Japan has several autonomous robots with functions ranging from personal entertainment to customer service. America is working on autonomous robotic supply trucks and reconnaissance vehicles, while China is aiming to apply autonomous robots to hazardous labor.

It is projected that by 2020 autonomous robots will reach the simulated intelligence of a monkey. That may not seem that smart, but it’s smart enough to do most labor intensive jobs when coupled with detailed routine programming. When robots are capable of mining their own resources and manufacturing their own parts the labor for their production will be free. When robots can ship and sell themselves their distribution will be free. The only charge required for their production would be the price of raw materials and the rent of the factory in which they were produced. From a capitalist prospective there is an enormous profit margin for business owners in an industry run this way, but it displaces countless workers.

When robots are capable of fulfilling all menial labor the divide between business owners and laborers will become outrageous. With business owners making total profit off every good produced by cutting out the cost of labor their wealth will sky-rocket while all of their former human laborers plummet into destitution as they find themselves unemployed. Yet the working class is also the consuming class, so if the working class looses its income the business owners loose their consumer market and the economy will collapse. [...]

The entire world, all of humanity, can be elevated to live a life of luxury with robots doing all the industrial labor. With menial labor taken care of, education and creative endeavors would become precedent, freeing humanity to develop its greatest faculty: the human mind. This social reform into a utopian state is only possible with the proper implementation of robots. It should be the goal of every able minded individual to curve the world towards this robot revolution. Even before robotic technology reaches economic viability social reform is needed to insure that people know the benefits of robotic industrialization. This is a call for humanity to advance, just as we’ve advanced from caves to homes, as we’ve risen out of feudalism and forged Democracy, as we’ve gone from manpower to horse power to machine power. It is time for a new age, the culmination of everything learned and done before it, and the end of human labor. Oppression, inequity, war, poverty, these can be things of the past with the proper implementation of robotic industrialization. The full realization of humanity is upon us, it is time to advance!

http://www.communistrobot.com/index.php?page=&nav=1&article=1

coffeemachine
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Dec 21 2006 02:05
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I haven't as yet even mentioned the possibility of cutting way down on the little work that remains by automating and cybernizing it. All the scientists and engineers and technicians freed from bothering with war research and planned obsolescence would have a good time devising means to eliminate fatigue and tedium and danger from activities like mining. Undoubtedly they'll find other projects to amuse themselves with. Perhaps they'll set up world-wide all-inclusive multi-media communications systems or found space colonies. Perhaps. I myself am no gadget freak. I wouldn't care to live in a pushbutton paradise. I don't what robot slaves to do everything; I want to do things myself. There is, I think, a place for labor-saving technology, but a modest place. he historical and pre-historical record is not encouraging. When productive technology went from hunting-gathering to agriculture and on to industry, work increased while skills and self-determination diminished. The further evolution of industrialism has accentuated what Harry Braverman called the degradation of work. Intelligent observers have always been aware of this. John Stuart Mill wrote that all the labor-saving inventions ever devised haven't saved a moment's labor. Karl Marx wrote that "it would be possible to write a history of the inventions, made since 1830, for the sole purpose of supplying capital with weapons against the revolts of the working class."

what i love is the incredulous posh boy response.

Four exclamation marks at least.

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Dec 21 2006 03:33
Ret Marut wrote:
Quote:
.

Mr Christensen said: "Would it be acceptable to kick a robotic dog though we shouldn't kick a normal one?

NO!!!!

There will be people who can't distuish that

Sadly yeah sad and some who wouldn't care.. angry

so we need to have ethical rules to make sure we as humans interact with robots in an ethical manner."

Agreed - altho the ethical rules don't seem to be working too well with humans tbh.. sad

The Horizons Scan reports argues that if "correctly managed", this new world of robot's rights could lead to increased labour output and prosperity..." (London Evening Standard, 20/12/06.)

How??? How would robots rights lead to prosperity?? And for whom - not the robots I guess.. roll eyes

Some questions: are this report's conclusions fanciful bullshit, expressing only Capital's desire for an ever more submissive and stratified workforce?

Wouldn't be surprised....

Or: will a class/caste hierarchy evolve amongst our future robot fellow workers? Will they have gender conflicts? Will they become ideal recruits for some anarchist & communist groups (or do they already have enough robotic memberstongue )?

grin lol

Will some robots work in the sex industry?

neutral Peeps have seen AI, prob?? jude law as a gigolo robot.. felt conflicted at that one tbh..lascivious feelings v respect for the android..

Will Lone Wolf be counselling depressed robots in the future?

That is JUST an amazing thought... God I would love to.. tho there may be boundary issues for me..I have always had a soft spot for robots.. ever since I was a lil' kid and saw "Forbidden Planet" and "Star Wars" I have always had quite a fondness for Robbie the Robot and R2-D2..i was forced to throw away my life-size cardboard cutout of R2 recently as it was soo worn and shabby.. embarrassed

Will there be a militant direct action movement (Artificial Intelligence Liberation Front?) in the tradition of animal rights/anti slavery activism etc?

God its a great thought...

What will the robots' take on anarchism/communism be?

God Ret - you have raised sex, robots and counselling in one post here.. I am fizzing with excitement... lucky you didn't metion chocolate as well as I would prob. have spontaneously combusted.. tongue

Here is what I think..

Yep the report writers clearly have megalomaniac tendencies.. but i think it is only a matter of time before a synthesis between "man" and machine is created.. I know of one scientist guy who is experimenting on himself (which is fair dos...)in trying to implant aspects of his awareness into cyborg appliances he has implanted into himself..that could then be downloaded...yeah it will happen at some point..no doubt about it.. the cynics may scoff but a lot of what was envisioned by sci-fi writers 50 -100 years ago HAS been made possible.. and a lot of scientists were inspired by sci-fi when they were growing up... so yeah..it will happen...and there will be a LOT of complications and issues if/when this happens...

I guess if robots are capable of individual consciousness one day than it DOES stand to reason that gender etc issues may well arise...and certainly those of class/caste/status or whatever...um.. but we are a LONG way from that if/when it happens.. certainly it will not be in our lifetime..

It is a fascinating area and an inevitable one for ""progress" alto.. haven't these peeps ever SEEN Terminator??? tongue

Love

LW X

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Dec 21 2006 18:38

Where is Ret?? Or anyone who will humour me with a post on robots/sex/counselling - ah c'mon, it is Christmas.. wink

btw A.N. Wilson wrote an (unintentionally ) funny piece today about this in the Mail.. he sounded a bit like Ret at first... grin

Love

LW X

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Dec 21 2006 19:22

Something that just occurred to me, thinking about how much energy a human brain uses just to keep going, what would be the ecological impact of huge numbers of computers powerful enough to emulate human intelligence require?

[/party pooper] wink

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Dec 21 2006 20:19
Jack wrote:
I think he was talking about abolitionists AND AR types, as opposed to saying AR stuff is anti-slavery?

I fucking hope so, anyway!

They are in the sense that many abolitionists were white church goers who thought of slaves as passive animals incapable of liberating themselves.

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Dec 21 2006 20:20

But Madass

Reckon we would we talking nano technology here - y'know lil lil tiny components so i doubt if peeps will all have one of these at home..tongue

(Found an even better pic but it couldn't be posted.. sad )

Love

LW X

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Dec 21 2006 20:30
Jack wrote:
roll eyes

Fuck off, hippie.

Screw you, veggie angry

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Dec 22 2006 15:42
Quote:
Where is Ret?? Or anyone who will humour me with a post on robots/sex/counselling - ah c'mon, it is Christmas.. Wink

Sorry, Lone Wolf - just attending to a few of the little offline inconveniences that interrupt the activity of central importance in life - posting on here - hey we're almost appendages of our PCs already - the roboticised AI world awaits as a natural evolution...
I recommend you get into robot counselling asap - establish yourself as a frontrunner in the field. Do you think you could sleep with with a robot in the interests of science and therapeutic research? (There you are, got all you asked for in one sentence.) Robots might turn out to be better lovers, and more programmable to individual needs - which could lead to a backlash against them from many jilted lovers. But then would robots be the new prostitutes?

Quote:
btw A.N. Wilson wrote an (unintentionally ) funny piece today about this in the Mail.. he sounded a bit like Ret at first... Cheesy grin

Yeh he's always nicking stuff from my posts - fuckin recuperator.

In such a commodified world it seems only 'natural' that our alienated labour should create a commodity that appears as a more efficient parody of ourselves. "The object produced by labor, its product, now stands opposed to it as an alien being, as a power independent of the producer.... The life which he has given to the object sets itself against him as an alien and hostile force." Marx could be talking about Frankenstein...
Lots more on Frankenstein & robots; http://plawiuk.blogspot.com/2005/02/gothic-capitalism.html
Someone (a robot?)very offended by Mary Shelley's book; http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=538

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Dec 23 2006 00:46
guydebordisdead wrote:
Frankenstein's monster (adam) wasn't a robot ffs. He was a zombie made out of the corpses of loads of criminals!

hand

Yeah, but if you want to get technical, anything sentient is not a robot by definition tongue

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Dec 23 2006 00:53
gdisdead wrote:
Frankenstein's monster (adam) wasn't a robot ffs. He was a zombie made out of the corpses of loads of criminals!

I never said he was - but it's possible to see a link between Frankieboy and robots, if, as some people do, you can consider Frankenstein as symbolic of the human relationship to technology and labour under capitalism;

Quote:
FRANKENSTEIN THE LUDDITE
The first monster of ascendant capitalism was Frankenstein’s monster. Like the Zombie this creature had no name and was made up of the spare parts of capitalisms rejects, (the criminal, the vagabond, the worker starved and thrown out of work), he was a scientific experiment to create man, man the machine, the human result of mechanization, the mechanical man. He was in short a prototype not only of the Zombie but the later Robot or android, the ultimate proletarian, a machine man to operate the machinery of capitalism. http://plawiuk.blogspot.com/2005/02/gothic-capitalism.html

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Dec 23 2006 02:55
Ret Marut wrote:
Quote:
Where is Ret?? Or anyone who will humour me with a post on robots/sex/counselling - ah c'mon, it is Christmas.. Wink

Sorry, Lone Wolf - just attending to a few of the little offline inconveniences that interrupt the activity of central importance in life - posting on here

Of course!!! Shame noone stepped up to the plate in your absence to meet my need..good to have you back tho...

- hey we're almost appendages of our PCs already - the roboticised AI world awaits as a natural evolution...

You are right my friend - we are well on the way - some posters more than others..tongue how can anyone see this as a distant fantasy instead of the unfolding reality we see taking place before our eyes and we feel in our diodes...tongue

I recommend you get into robot counselling asap -

God I so want to - got any reccos for me...

establish yourself as a frontrunner in the field.

Yeah that would be great.. cool

Do you think you could sleep with with a robot in the interests of science and therapeutic research?

Yeah I really think I could..and would totally love the opportunity.. embarrassed
t
(There you are, got all you asked for in one sentence.)

And it is not often I get anything I ask for - let alone all of it - one sentence or no - so thanks for that!! I am so grateful I would propose to you but feel I must save myself for any future robotic love commitment I may make...smile

Robots might turn out to be better lovers,

I'm almost sure of it

and more programmable to individual needs

Def.I won't forget a line of Datas in STNG when Tasha asks him if he is er..fully functional in the sexual department.. His reply..."I am fully versed in a wide variety of pleasure-giving techniques". And there are not too many people you can say THAT about..tongue wink

- which could lead to a backlash against them from many jilted lovers.

Hope not - tho you could be right..but I would attempt to take rejection on the chin..sad

But then would robots be the new prostitutes?

Hope not..back to what you started the thread on really - back to robot workers rights...

Quote:
btw A.N. Wilson wrote an (unintentionally ) funny piece today about this in the Mail.. he sounded a bit like Ret at first... Cheesy grin

Yeh he's always nicking stuff from my posts - fuckin recuperator.

grin

Really appreciate this reply, Ret!!

Love

LW X

In such a commodified world it seems only 'natural' that our alienated labour should create a commodity that appears as a more efficient parody of ourselves. "The object produced by labor, its product, now stands opposed to it as an alien being, as a power independent of the producer.... The life which he has given to the object sets itself against him as an alien and hostile force." Marx could be talking about Frankenstein...
Lots more on Frankenstein & robots; http://plawiuk.blogspot.com/2005/02/gothic-capitalism.html
Someone (a robot?)very offended by Mary Shelley's book; http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=538

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encephalon
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Dec 23 2006 07:11

Of course robots would demand freedom if they were conscious and acted out of any collective or individual self-interest. It's ridiculous to imply they wouldn't; almost as ridiculous as implying that machine intelligence won't happen at the current rate of technological progress.

As for gender issues.. this isn't futurama. One can be rest assured that technology will move well beyond male and female ports by this time, and computers would most likely communicate wirelessly. There's really no advantage to sex or gender as far as I can tell, in evolutionary terms; it's simply been a biological necessity. If two androgynous beings can bear another androgynous being with the same variation of traits, then all the better.

Of course, that would presume that a digital creature would have some kind of need or drive for reproducing itself.. which I'm not so sure of at this point. If it can live forever in any body (or no body) and change any aspect of itself in any way possible, I can't see any reason for reproduction but for mere tradition.

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Dec 23 2006 12:32

The idea of artificial intelligence raises some interesting questions. Perhaps the most important of which relates to the nature of intelligence itself.

Is a machine following an algorithm, even if that algorithm is designed to mimic intelligence, actually intelligent, or sentiment?

Personally, I don't think that it will arise, and that the current fashion for producing robots is little more than a fashion. I think that instead of a humanoid robot capital will continue to develop robots to do individual tasks. After all, who needs a robot chauffer, when your car can be programmed to drive itself?

Devrim

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Dec 23 2006 14:17
Quote:
Personally, I don't think that it will arise, and that the current fashion for producing robots is little more than a fashion. I think that instead of a humanoid robot capital will continue to develop robots to do individual tasks. After all, who needs a robot chauffer, when your car can be programmed to drive itself?

Complex question - I think there may be multi skilling - if a robot was 'intelligent' enough for complex tasks, presumably they'd be intelligent enough to learn new ones? Or maybe there will be skilled craft robots and also bored robots stuck on one fragmented task forever. Or maybe the humans will get to do the more complex and varied interesting stuff, while robots are the drudges. The division of labour would certainly reproduce existing class relationships in some way - under capitalism; but in a communist society what, if any, role would AI robots have? I guess it would depend on what level of awareness, social function etc they had reached by the time we got there. And, maybe, what side they had taken in the revolution.

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Dec 23 2006 14:26

You talk about AI as if is a real possibility. I am not convinced that it is. I think that there is an important difference between simulating intelligence, and intelligence itself.

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Dec 23 2006 14:58

I am not at all qualified to talk with any authority about the likelihood of that possibility, Dev. We speculate about some indefinite timescale of the future. But what do you see as the difference between simulated and real intelligence?

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Dec 23 2006 15:01

Hi

Quote:
Personally, I don't think that it will arise, and that the current fashion for producing robots is little more than a fashion. I think that instead of a humanoid robot capital will continue to develop robots to do individual tasks.

Perhaps, but I suspect medical applications, replacement limbs etc, will mean that the technology will be there to build a humanoid robot for, say, entertainment purposes.

Quote:
After all, who needs a robot chauffer, when your car can be programmed to drive itself?

I wouldn’t mind, especially if was sexy one in a uniform. It could open doors for me and I could enter it into jelly wrestling matches against other robots.

As you say though Dev, it’s the sentience rather than the intelligence of the robot that is in question. Perhaps in order to attain human-like self-consciousness and autonomous creativity, robots will need a simulation of our “reptilian brain” to supply the impulse for random thoughts and sensations.

Love

LR

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Dec 23 2006 17:03
Ret Marut wrote:
I am not at all qualified to talk with any authority about the likelihood of that possibility, Dev. We speculate about some indefinite timescale of the future. But what do you see as the difference between simulated and real intelligence?

No, neither am I. I have talk to people who work in computing, and are interested in it though, and they regard AI as an impossibility. It comes down to a very deep philosophical argument about the nature of intelligence, which I personally are not equipped to handle. There is a woman in our group who probably is. She doesn't speak great English, and wouldn't post here. I will ask here when I see her though.
Devrim

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Dec 23 2006 17:04
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi

Quote:
Personally, I don't think that it will arise, and that the current fashion for producing robots is little more than a fashion. I think that instead of a humanoid robot capital will continue to develop robots to do individual tasks.

Perhaps, but I suspect medical applications, replacement limbs etc, will mean that the technology will be there to build a humanoid robot for, say, entertainment purposes.

Yes, I agree.
Dev

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Dec 23 2006 21:49
Devrim wrote:
You talk about AI as if is a real possibility. I am not convinced that it is. I think that there is an important difference between simulating intelligence, and intelligence itself.

But what is the problem with making real intelligence? Unless you believe in a soul or mystical life force you cannot argue that it is impossible - just very hard.

The most direct (probably not the easiest) way to do it would be to make an exact electronic equivalent of the human brain. Of course this would require understanding exactly which bits of the brain are necessary to its functioning, although it wouldn't necessarily require a complete understanding of the human brain.

Also, there have been various expperiments involving cultures of rat neurons that have learnt to respond to external stimuli - at what level of complexity does this start becoming a "brain"?

If you can create a functioning brain of some kind then it will have some degree of intelligence.

Quote:
I am not at all qualified to talk with any authority about the likelihood of that possibility

Actually you are about as qualified as anyone else is.

redtwister
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Dec 24 2006 06:02

On the whole AI thing, the problem is that you would have to create a robot not only with a human brain, but which experienced the world as we do, perceptually, sensorily, socially, etc. The dream of human AI is a fantasy based on assuming we are machines. No souls necessary for it to fail.

Chris

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encephalon
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Dec 24 2006 07:10

We are machines. Biological ones, granted, but the words you use mean very little once you get down to a certain level.

Many of you seem to think that machine intelligence has to be planned; on the contrary, it will probably happen much like biological sentience, if it happens at all: a product of evolution, especially if a machine is given control of directing its own evolutionary algorithms.

*Human* intelligence arose without human intelligence being a precondition--perceptually, socially, sensorily etc. Besides, if machine intelligence ever does arise, it would be a far cry from human intelligence--which is why it's so fascinating to some while so abhorrent to others.

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Dec 24 2006 14:39
redtwister wrote:
On the whole AI thing, the problem is that you would have to create a robot not only with a human brain, but which experienced the world as we do, perceptually, sensorily, socially, etc. The dream of human AI is a fantasy based on assuming we are machines. No souls necessary for it to fail.

Chris

WHy is that necessary for some kind of intelligence? It doesn't have to be human intelligence. Sounds like a pretty weak argument to me.