I noticed an article on Singularity Hub, which stated non-human conciousness exists. The article then asked: "Now what?"
The answer is simple. All the "animals" can start using their "consciousness" to build ultra-advanced AGIs, quantum computers, nanobots, stem cell regenerative cures, and photonics processors. I'll ask the pigeons outside my window what they think about current graphene research, perhaps they will have some good ideas regarding novel research lines.
All animals have a level of intelligence, they are not rocks, even plants have been shown to do sums. A short while ago PhysOrg wrote: "New research shows that to prevent starvation at night, plants perform accurate arithmetic division. The calculation allows them to use up their starch reserves at a constant rate so that they run out almost precisely at dawn."
BUT, the intelligence, consciousness, self-awareness of a mouse or rabbit is very dim. The consciousness of lesser animals is essentially insignificant. In dolphins or apes their intelligence or consciousness is becoming more significant, perhaps to a point which cannot be ignored.
I am sure lesser animals have always been considered conscious, unless they have been knocked-out into unconsciousness, but animals typically don't exhibit human-level consciousness, which is what people mean when they say lesser animals don't exhibit consciousness. If robots have only a minimal amount if consciousness they will have little rights similar to how dogs do not have very many rights, but with increasing consciousness rights will increase.
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