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Building conscious AI (in the form of brain emulations or other architectures) could possibly help us create a large amount of valuable artificial beings. Wildely speculative indulgence: being able to simulate humans and their descendents could be a great way to make the human species more robust to most existing existential risks (if it is easy to create artificial humans that can live in simulations then humanity could becomes much more resilient)
That would pose a huge risk of creating astronomical suffering too. For example, if someone decides to do a conscious simulation of natural history on earth, that would be a nightmare for those who work on reducing s-risks.
Thanks for the detailed answer!
Good idea, I'll consider that. Thanks!