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Abstract
AI research is growing rapidly raising various ethical issues related to safety, risks, and other effects widely discussed in the literature. We believe that in order to adequately address those issues and engage in a productive normative discussion it is necessary to examine key concepts and categories. One such category is anthropomorphism. It is a well-known fact that AI’s functionalities and innovations are often anthropomorphized. The general public’s anthropomorphic attitudes and some of their ethical consequences have been widely discussed in the literature. However, how anthropomorphism permeates AI research itself, and what the epistemological and ethical consequences of this might be have received less attention. In this paper we explore this issue. We first set the methodological/theoretical stage, making a distinction between a normative and a conceptual approach to the issues. Next, after a brief analysis of anthropomorphism and its manifestations in the public, we explore its presence within AI research with a particular focus on brain-inspired AI. Finally, on the basis of our analysis, we identify some potential epistemological and ethical consequences of the use of anthropomorphic language and discourse within the AI research community, thus reinforcing the need of complementing the practical with a conceptual analysis.
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DOI 10.1080/21507740.2020.1740350
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References found in this work BETA

Artificial Intelligence Meets Natural Stupidity.Drew McDermott - 1981 - In J. Haugel (ed.), Mind Design. MIT Press. pp. 5-18.

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Playing the Blame Game with Robots.Markus Kneer & Michael T. Stuart - 2021 - In Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI’21 Companion). New York, NY, USA:

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