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Uplifting animals

uplift primates biotechnology genetic engineering

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18 replies to this topic

Poll: Uplifting animals (21 member(s) have cast votes)

When will we uplift another species to sapience?

  1. Before 2050 (6 votes [28.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 28.57%

  2. 2050-2074 (4 votes [19.05%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.05%

  3. 2075-2099 (2 votes [9.52%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.52%

  4. 2100-2149 (3 votes [14.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  5. 2150-2199 (4 votes [19.05%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.05%

  6. Later than 2200 (1 votes [4.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.76%

  7. Never (1 votes [4.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.76%

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#1
Jakob

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I've been thinking lately about the possibility of uplifting certain animals to human-level intelligence. I'm fairly convinced that it's possible once we become comfortable and adept at genetic engineering: http://www.yalescien...ifting-animals/ That said, it'll of course be very difficult.

 

There are also the more interesting questions of "should we?" and "will we be allowed to?": http://www.forbes.co...e/#10c204ba4491 Those are of course much harder to answer, society is much less predictable than technology.

 

I'm also personally unsure what exactly would be the point. Is there even a point other than scientific curiosity? Some people say that there's some kind of moral imperative to do so, but I'm flatly unconvinced. Who suffers if we don't do it? Why bother? Even if it did somehow help, wouldn't it be more moral to invest in members of our own species? To me, "must we?" isn't even a question, the answer is obviously no.

 

Of course, that won't bother the people who are in it for scientific curiosity. So we're probably going to see it happen on a small scale once it becomes possible, even if there is relatively little point overall. And if we do go ahead and do it, when, who, and why?

 

I'm of the mind that the great apes will be the first. Probably we'll do bonobos first. I hope so. They're basically chimps, but nicer and less...evil. Someone will do chimps too. That will be horrible. Imagine those evil suckers with human intelligence. You get things like the Bonobo Genocide of 2305-09. Anyway, orangutans and gorillas are probably next. Other mammals will be harder, but dolphins, elephants, and dogs--being pretty intelligent already and man's best friend--are likely choices. Maybe a couple of birds, presumably parrot and crow species, could make it. Unlike the Orions Arm people, I'm extremely skeptical that any lower animals could be uplifted. Octopuses might not be impossible, but they'll be a very, very long shot. The changes that would be necessary for lower animals are so vast that you might as well be making a new creature from scratch though. Non-animal life forms? Forget it. They don't even have brains, Orions Arm people!


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#2
Raklian

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It'd be incredible to actively and intellectually work with other species for the betterment of Earth as a whole. We all share this puny ball of rock after all.


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#3
TranscendingGod

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That chair you're sitting in? Yeah that has the potential to be a lot smarter than you and I and the rest of humanity combined and all humans to come as well as those who have already lived. Sure we might do something with animals but it will be insignificant as the animals will be biological.

The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#4
Jakob

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That chair you're sitting in? Yeah that has the potential to be a lot smarter than you and I and the rest of humanity combined and all humans to come as well as those who have already lived.

Wat.


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#5
Yuli Ban

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^ He means, it doesn't matter what you give intelligence as long as you're capable of doing so. If I added a superintelligent AI brain to a banana, that banana would potentially be the most intelligent banana in history. Especially when you bring computronium into it.


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#6
Jakob

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^ He means, it doesn't matter what you give intelligence as long as you're capable of doing so. If I added a superintelligent AI brain to a banana, that banana would potentially be the most intelligent banana in history. Especially when you bring computronium into it.

Well, it kind of stops being a banana then if it's made of computronium. Whereas adding brains to a bonobo won't make it something that's not a bonobo.

 

EDIT: Also higher primates are obviously much easier to impart intelligence into than a banana.


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#7
TranscendingGod

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It depends on how you classify a bonobo. Do you classify it by simple physiological features or by emergent characteristics and mental acuity? If you classify it by the latter then that bonobo is surely something else even given the physiological semblance.

I don't believe that there is much difference in difficulty in imparting intelligence to either ape or banana. We don't know of course.

The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#8
Erowind

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I think uplifting an entire forest of trees would be interesting. Trees already talk to one another through root and fungi networks. A sentient hivemind the size of the amazon would be quite the sight!
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#9
Infinite

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I mean, apart from the sheer wonder from raising an animal's (or plant's!) sapience to human levels, who else to learn more about the nature of animals and plants than by asking them! We could have a much MUCH healthier relationship with other living things if we were able to adequately communicate with them. Instead of the hegemony humans hold, the Earth could be filled with many different species working together communicating through diplomats and unions.

 

Also because we would be raising the sapience of these animals and plants, but still leaving them within their first physical form and not turning them into humans, I'm guessing that their brains or brain equivalent would be wired very differently to humans. This is a could good thing, because they would employ different ways of thinking about things, allowing us to learn so much from their thought processes. How many problems in science would we be able to solve if we had a fresh and unique perspective to look at them?

 

In terms of humans having another species or multiple species of equal sapience and intelligence, I think it would give us a sense of unity and realization of the fact that we are human, when given something that we can compare ourselves to equally. A stronger sense of identity if you will. 


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Is minic an fhírinne searbh.


#10
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Thank you for dedicating a thread to me :)

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#11
Recyvuym

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Where's the option for "it's already happened"? No genetic engineering necessary as far as I was aware.

 

 

 

Cetacean self-awareness.

 

Primate cognition.


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#12
Recyvuym

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I think uplifting an entire forest of trees would be interesting. Trees already talk to one another through root and fungi networks. A sentient hivemind the size of the amazon would be quite the sight!

You're going to love my sci-fi series. ... or hate it, because it features a totally evil version of that.


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#13
Mike the average

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I think this is why we leave the earth to the animals in a few hundred years.  Because there are both good reasons to think its 'morally' right and wrong to do this to animals and with the way technology is going it might change all our needs to be here specifically on earth or even in the physical world at all. 


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#14
Alice Tepes

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as far as animals go we are already kinda doing it. an example is some dogs we have bred. but aside from that (it is not what you meant i know), if we really got down and tried. we could probably start doing it in the next 20-30 years. because we don't need to know how the brain works we just need to have a slight idea. also if you tried to genetically manipulate say... a dog, and succeeded. you would  most likely get something that doesn't necessarily look like a dog because of the physical necessity required for having a brain with the intelligence you require. blood flow, cranial space ext. now plants on the other hand have even more problems. namely the fact that they don't have a nervous system to begin with.


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#15
Jakob

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Crows are scarily smart bastards. I'm sure they'll be a target for the second wave of uplifting initiatives, after we do all the great apes, etc.


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#16
Ewolf20

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The idea intrigues me but raises concerns on ethics. Should we really have to uplift animals? Would they thank us for it? And what might happens if you uplifted a spider.

#17
dekoomer

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I imagine it would be hard to uplift an animal genetically without changing the way it looks.

 

Instead of genetics I feel we're more likely to use advanced brain implants. Lab rats, chimps & dolphins will be one of the first receivers, then we will work our way down to dogs and other pets, then various wild animals.

 

These implants will start simple, Increasing learning speed and improving memory. Then over time these implants will get smaller and less invasive while adding new cognitive abilities, Eventually allowing the animal to understand human language in it's own mind and having it's  thoughts translated into human language. 



#18
MrDusk

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The idea intrigues me but raises concerns on ethics. Should we really have to uplift animals? Would they thank us for it? And what might happens if you uplifted a spider.

 

Well the arachnophobe in me wouldnt care if the spider was nice or not evil and I'd go get the flame thrower out of the cupboard. No sympathy, only purging with flame.

 

The goth in me would probably be morbidly fascinated with the latest horror of scientific advancement. But ultimately wouldnt want the little fucker around (screw the rules if I can't swear)

 

The futurist in me would plain say 'NOPE!'



#19
MrDusk

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As a furry I don't really support the creation of ferals. Our world is screwy enough as is without intelligent animals discovering the centuries of slaughter. Or prey uprising against predators who may or may not even feel guilty that they eat the flesh of another (I certainly dont). However primates are a different matter. I'm fine with upliftal there.

 

What I am in support of is human genetic modification to anthropromorphic forms. The ethics and morals around it are far lest questionable. It's just morphological freedom afterall.

 

I have no doubt though that someone somewhere is going to uplift something despite what anyone says on the matter. Perhaps because they can, perhaps because they're a little bit bonkers. Just a smidge. and all of a sudden well have sentient animals of some sort. So it's only a matter of time.







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