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Given the recent advances in machine learning, such as the OpenAI GPT-3 (e.g. chatbot), it is not unreasonable to expect that artificial general intelligence (AGI) will be achieved in the foreseeable future. This may mean that there will be machines that will be indistinguishable from humans (except for physical appearance, at least at first), in that they will appear to think, interact, and even have feelings, aspirations, and a unique personality just like a regular person. There might not be any way to tell them apart from humans, aside from examining their internals.

How might halacha approach the personhood status of such artifical intelligence machines? Is there any precedent or halachic basis to recognize their status as intelligent beings who are alive? This would have practical implications in many areas, such as whether it's permissible to turn them off or destroy them, rely on them as witnesses and count them for a minyan, ask them for halachic rulings, whether amira l'akum applies to them or not, and many others areas of halacha.

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  • I'd actually like to focus on the humanity aspect, and whether an AI externally indistinguishable from a human would have halachic protection from being turned off ('killed'). Because if not, all kinds of ethical issues may arise. You might meet someone and become friends with them, have shared experiences, laugh, travel and have fun together, learn with them as a chavrusa, and develop an emotional bond with them. But then you discover that it's totally halachically ok to just take an axe and smash their head to pieces, because inside they're made of artificial neurons and not cells.
    – user9806
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 19:38
  • Check out discussions about the Golem of Prague. Related.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 19:40
  • Also this will be pertinent to the points you just raised in your comment (humanity aspect): judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/20717/…
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 19:46
  • The Golem is qualitatively different, since it perforce is distinguishable from a human (it can not speak, for instance).
    – user9806
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 19:50

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