Can a Computer be Conscious? Part 3 (Ethics)

Blogging to Share Knowledge

First, an overdue credit to Aeryk, the reason this blog even exists.  Once upon a time, Aeryk and I raided a pizza buffet place, and with a gut full of cheap pizza, we waxed philosophical.  We spoke of the purpose of life, and I opined that for me, learning was very enjoyable, but ultimately meaningless if what I learned died with me.  Aeryk then suggested I serialize what I learned by blogging, and the rest is history.

Introduction

I recently met Aeryk for coffee and he said that my recent articles on Computer Consciousness (here and here) seemed to be building up to Ethics.  He had a point.  Since fellow bloggers ausomeawestin and selfawarepatterns have done some interesting angles on computers, robots and ethics, I’d like to go in a different direction with this.

Assuming a computer achieved consciousness, what — if any — moral impact follows?  For…

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