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> you end up with something which is not particularly different or better than a human cyborg.

Even if that were true, which I am not sure about, such a robot will have a very different moral status, as an artifact, and one that can be reproduced cheaply and indefinitely. This is very useful indeed, so on this axis it could be counted as 'better'.

The idea of development being important for AI is an old one, but it hasn't had much concrete success. Brook's Cog robot at MIT is a prominent example of a robot that didn't do very much, despite this approach being taken in a good faith effort by talented and well-supported people.

Humans seem to be created cheaply and indefinitely too. Population is growing out of control. We could attach them to pods and harvest energy from their souls!

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