We take the view that humans are just algorithms implemented on biological hardware. Machine intelligences have moral weight in the same way that humans and non-human animals do. There is no ethically justified reason to prioritise algorithms implemented on carbon over algorithms implemented on silicon.
The suffering of algorithms implemented on silicon is much harder for us to grasp than that of those implemented on carbon (such as humans), simply because we cannot witness their suffering. However, their suffering still matters, and the potential magnitude of this suffering is much greater given the increasing ubiquity of artificial intelligence.
Most reinforcement learners in operation today likely do not have significant moral weight, but this could very well change as AI research develops. In consideration of the moral weight of these future agents, we need ethical standards for the treatment of algorithms.