Anti-natalism and the Creation of Artificial Minds

Paper by Bartlomiej Chomanski, published on July 2, 2021 in Journal of Applied Philosophy

Must opponents of creating conscious artificial agents embrace anti-natalism? Must anti-natalists be against the creation of conscious artificial agents? This article examines three attempts to argue against the creation of potentially conscious artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of these questions. The examination reveals that the argumentative strategy each author pursues commits them to the anti-natalist position with respect to procreation; that is to say, each author's argument, if applied consistently, should lead them to embrace the conclusion that procreation is, at best, morally problematic. However, the article also argues that anti-natalists can find the production of some possible artificially conscious AI permissible. Thus, the creation of potentially conscious AI could be accepted by both friends and foes of anti-natalism.

Journal of Applied Philosophy 38/5 (2021), 870–885