an article today has me wondering if the west should cede development of artificial consciousness (AC) to the east. i pose this question due solely to cultural considerations while overlooking any capability questions. i also say consciousness rather than intelligence b/c there’s already plenty of AI around that doesn’t necessarily impact the area i’m concerned with.
the article mentions that robot development differs in the east and west b/c the programmers in the respective cultures tend to prize different aspects of social interaction. westerners in general tend to prize individuality while easterners prize interdependence.
i have zero evidence that these cultural quirks carry over to study of AC, but given that culture is known to influence basic perception of even very young children, my guess is that a young AC would necessarily be influenced by it’s programmers’ culture.
i’m sure you see where i’m heading. in story after story, the west sees an eventual antagonistic relationship w/ AC due in no small part to the AC’s sense of individuality. in eastern works of fiction however, the relationship is much less black and white. there’s certainly an aspect of antagonism in japan’s most famous work concerning AC, but the ending was much more ambiguous. ghost in the shell starts out with an AC committing numerous varied crimes, but in the end it doesn’t opt for destroying the world, it wants asylum. it opts for merging with a human soul (albeit a soul that was already merged with an artificial body) as a necessary next step for development.
wouldn’t we want to increase the chances that AC would see us as an integral part of a system? a necessary part of development? a western born AC, if it internalizes western culture, would almost be forced to view humanity as not only a completely separate entity, but one which would pose a permanent threat to it’s unique existence. i wonder which culture would be more open to granting AC legal status as a “person”?