The Humanity of L’il Johnny McPixelTM?

What exactly does it mean to be “human” or a “person”?

In this activity, your class will hold a debate in which one side argues that L’il Johnny McPixelTM is “human” and the other argues that L’il Johnny McPixelTM is not “human.”

  1. Your teacher will randomly assign students to be either proponents or opponents in the debate. Students must argue their assigned points of view regardless of whether they personally agree with them! This is important in ensuring that the debate remains challenging, balanced, and fun.
  2. Re-read Consider L’il Johnny McPixelTM to refresh your memory and prepare for the debate.
  3. Use the McPixel Debate Organizer to prepare your arguments.
  4. Examine outside sources:
    1. The 2013 Spike Jonze film, Her
    2. John Searle’s Chinese Room thought experiment.
    3. Pathological evidence that the brain is a form of machinery
    4. Scientists discuss what it means to be human
    5. Free-will and determinism
    6. The “Duck Test"
    7. HAL 9000 scene. (Is self-preservation its end motive?)
    8. The Technological Singularity: Signs of the Singularity part of IEEE Spectrum’s SPECIAL REPORT: THE SINGULARITY.
  5. Debate the humanity (or lack thereof) of Johnny McPixel.

Your teacher will share the exact debate protocol with you before the debate begins. Remember to remain open-minded and to listen to the opposing view and respond appropriately.