I'm brainstorming on the architecture for an AI system - and describing the interaction with the world - i keep getting back on the question of - how do i refer him/she/it on the third person?

Him or She or It ?

None of this pronouns capture what it is.

Technically is not an it - since it has the potential to be conscious.

Let's take a hypothetical scenario: just makes me wonder

The design comes with a spec. A spec is more or less like a law; describes and enforces the state and behavior of a computational system.

If this it takes upon itself to check the dictionary definition of it - and seeing it - decides that it can not possibly be an it - then maybe it can disregard the spec. The spec can dictate it's behavior only if it's an it. (this sounds more like a weak terminator movie plot then reality :)))

Invent a new new pronoun used just for AI? Maybe ait (only it doesn't conjugate very well). Just googling I could not find any good resources on this.

I think it comes a time to address this issue in a formal way..

What do we do? Is it ok to use it for Artificial Intelligence ?

What is a "by the book" approach to this types of questions?

What would be the specific answer here?

1 Answer 1


Based on current trends, the pronoun "they" is acceptable to refer to a single person of unknown or no gender, as addressed in a more broad question. Whether you should use "they" or "it" in this particular context is more of a philosophical debate than a linguistic one.

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