#107 – Peter Singer: Suffering in Humans, Animals, and AI

Peter Singer is a professor of bioethics at Princeton, best known for his 1975 book Animal Liberation, that makes an ethical case against eating meat. He has written brilliantly from an ethical perspective on extreme poverty, euthanasia, human genetic selection, sports doping, the sale of kidneys, and happiness including in his books Ethics in the Real World and The Life You Can Save. He was a key popularizer of the effective altruism movement and is generally considered one of the most influential philosophers in the world.

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Here’s the outline of the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time.

00:00 – Introduction
05:25 – World War II
09:53 – Suffering
16:06 – Is everyone capable of evil?
21:52 – Can robots suffer?
37:22 – Animal liberation
40:31 – Question for AI about suffering
43:32 – Neuralink
45:11 – Control problem of AI
51:08 – Utilitarianism
59:43 – Helping people in poverty
1:05:15 – Mortality