Chapter 5. “Like Explaining Shakespeare to a Dog”

Page 96

Socrates was put to death by the state of Athens for ‘refusing to recognise the gods recognised by the state’ and ‘corrupting the youth’.

R. E. Allan, “Socrates and Legal Obligation” (Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, Minnesota Archive Editions, 1981), p. 3.

Page 97

In his last letter, Bacon is said to have written, ‘As for the experiment itself, it succeeded excellently well’

Basil Montagu, ed., The Works of Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor of England, (London: William Pickering, 1834), vol. 16, part 2, p. ccccxlvii (“Letter to Lord Arundel”).

Page 102

As legendary AI researcher Marvin Minsky remarked upon seeing Leo, ‘My objection to Leonardo is, it’s just a trick. It doesn’t really have emotions. It just knows how to fool you into thinking it does.’

John Seabrooke, “It Came from Hollywood,” The New Yorker, 1 Dec. 2003, p. 54.

Nick Bostrom, who I met in Oxford points out, ‘Whether somebody is implemented on silicon or biological tissue – if it does not affect functionality or consciousness – is of no moral significance. Carbon-chauvinism is objectionable on the same grounds as racism.’

Nick Bostrom, “Ethical Principles in the Creation of Artificial Minds,” web posting 2001; rev. 2005.

Page 103

In late 2009, Robin af Ekenstam became the first recipient of ‘SmartHand’ – a prosthetic mechanical hand that not only replicates the movement of its human equivalent, but also provides Robin with a sense of touch

Darren Quick, “SmartHand Brings Movement and Touch to Amputees,” Gizmag website, 5 Nov. 2009.

Page 104

In a 1995 paper entitled ‘Will Robots Inherit the Earth?’ Marvin Minsky came to a similar conclusion: ‘Yes, but they will be our children.’

Marvin L. Minsky, “Will Robots Inherit the Earth?” Scientific American online, Oct. 1994.

Page 106

Indeed, the Catholic Church maintains its objection to the technique on the grounds that in IVF ‘the generation of the human person is objectively deprived of its proper perfection: namely, that of being the result and fruit of a conjugal act.’

“Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation,” Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, The Vatican, 1987.

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