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It’s not just cheaper products, self driving cars are another advantage to machines taking and interpreting their own photos.

Extend this to asteroid tracking and it may be the difference between human survival and extinction.

Again, you are offering ways that photography can be a useful means to an end that we previously accept as good for other reasons, not ways that photography can be a good in itself. Suppose the humans were already extinct; would you then consider it a good in itself for machines to be taking and interpreting photos? Would you set up a video camera with a solar panel in a park, endlessly taking 60 photos per second, then deleting them, because photography is good even if nobody looks at it and it produces nothing else outside of itself?

I am fond of the humans and so I would like them to survive, but only because that is a means for them to be conscious, at least in some cases.

Efficiency can turn something from useless to useful, which means the outcome is not inherently useful.

Thus if photography is required and the only thing that makes it possible then it as a means becomes and end to it's self.

Consider, in a pure nitrogen environment animals will suffocate under no great distress. The goal has become separated from the result.

You seem to be unclear on the distinction between means and ends, which is to say, instrumental and terminal values.

A legacy that lives past humanity seems better than one that does not. If something views or does not view that legacy is effectively irrelevant as humans would never know.

PS: As to your final central point, some feel keeping a loved one alive even if they never recover consciousness is a net good.

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