Skip to comments.Experts Fear Lab-Grown Brains Will Become Sentient, Which Is Upsetting
Posted on 10/29/2020 5:50:58 AM PDT by Red Badger
The idea of sentient, lab-created "organoids" raises ethical questions that ripple through science.
Tests could include physical scans, mathematical models, and more.
Scientists say there are reasons it could be necessary to create consciousness ... and destroy it.
A thought-provoking new article poses some hugely important scientific questions: Could brain cells initiated and grown in a lab become sentient? What would that look like, and how could scientists test for it? And would a sentient, lab-grown brain organoid have some kind of rights?
Buckle up for a quick and dirty history of the ethics of sentience. We associate the term with computing and artificial intelligence, but the question of who (or what) is or isnt sentient and deserving of rights and moral consideration goes back to the very beginning of the human experience. The debate colors everything from ethical consumption of meat to many episodes of Black Mirror.
Heres how the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy describes sentience:
An animal, person, or other cognitive system [...] may be conscious in the generic sense of simply being a sentient creature, one capable of sensing and responding to its world. Being conscious in this sense may admit of degrees, and just what sort of sensory capacities are sufficient may not be sharply defined. Are fish conscious in the relevant respect? And what of shrimp or bees?
The Future Is Here
In Nature, reporter Sara Reardon explains a specific area where the debate over sentience gets very heated, very quickly. In August 2019, Alysson Muotri, a professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Cellular & Molecular Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, published a paper with colleagues in Cell Stem Cell on the "creation of human brain organoids that produced coordinated waves of activity, resembling those seen in premature babies."
And those waves, Reardon reports, continued for months before Muotri and his team ended the experiment.
That means the cells Muotri's group was making in the lab were exhibiting the beginnings of being a cognitive system that might end up sensing and responding to its world in some way.
Ugh. Too late to get it on the ballot.
"Maybe you're fed up, maybe you wanna be by yourself. Who knows? You look down and you see a tortoise, Leon. It's crawling towards you."
"A tortoise? What's that?"
"You know what a turtle is? Same thing."
“Scientists say there are reasons it could be necessary to create consciousness ... and destroy it.”
I don’t think they understand the meaning of the word “necessary”.
Looking for a good brain to replace FADING Joe’s.
“Science” seems to have no boundaries anymore. Dangerous.
We may yet get intelligent life on Earth!
(Anybody remember Tay?)
(Anybody remember Tay?)
No intelligent life there, Nully...............
Anyone else have a "Well duh!" response to this? Why else would you grow brain cells? To be stupid? To be non-sentient? What differentiates *brain* cells from say any other random cells? It is exactly that, brain function.
Presumably if you're growing brain cells the idea would be to eventually use them as brain cells - either to transplant into a patient suffering some brain injury or dysfunction, or maybe to study drug effects and utility. If you're going to transplant them into someone they had better function as brain cells, else why bother? "We'll transplant the brain cells into you, but they won't function as brain cells. It means you'll probably vote democrat the rest of your life..." Nooooo!!!! ;-) Ditto for drug effects. "Gee, sorry. In our trial of this new hemorrhoid cream we never realized it destroys upper brain function. But hey, here's your Bernie bumper sticker."
Was that before or after the murder of Clippy?................
Gives new meaning to the question “Who’s your daddy?”
My grandfather used to work for your grandfather. Of course the rates have gone up.
And would it matter to them if fetal brains are sentient?
Popular Mechanics has become a little bit of everything site..................
Too late PM. Watch the movie.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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