Re: PHIL: Is it ethical to create special purpose sentients?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 01 Mar 1999 02:19:20 -0600 wrote:
> Hello all,
> Thought I would throw this question out. Is it ethical to create
> specially designed sentient beings which would be engineered to do specific
> tasks?

No. Sentient beings have the ethical right to serve their own purposes, not yours and not evolution's.

> Would it be ethical for their creators to profit from the labor of
> their creations?

Yes, once it was too late. They would still be obligated to make their best efforts to free their creations.

> Esentially, we're talking about the possibility of a perfect
> slave caste, willing and able to serve general purpose sentients (like us) in
> whatever capacity we design them to. What do you all think?

I think it's impossible, suicidally dangerous, and ethically repugnant. Do you have any further questions?

--         Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.