The year is 2050, and the world is caught in a battle for control between humans and computers. Who’s your money on?

The idea of new technologies taking over the world and subjugating humans has been floating around the cultural consciousness for at least the last couple hundred years. And while robot overlords—like the villain of the latest installment of Mission Impossible—might be sci-fi fodder, it cannot be denied that artificial intelligence and machine learning are developing fast and it would behoove us to start thinking about the ethical implications of AI before we have a serious problem on our hands. Today’s ChatGPT 4 could morph into tomorrow’s first digital being, capable of experiencing joy and pain—and as far-off and improbable as that may seem, science and tech leaders, and even software engineers have been urging us to take the matter of AI welfare seriously. As an animal advocate, I’m starting to think they have a point.

Read the rest at TIME.

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