The New Yorker's Gary Marcus raises an interesting question: in the future, when robots will do things we used to do, and will do them better, the need for these machines to have a code of ethics will be extremely important. His example using a self-driving car explains the moral dilemma best:
Within two or three decades the difference between automated driving and human driving will be so great you may not be legally allowed to drive your own car, and even if you are allowed, it would be immoral of you to drive, because the risk of you hurting yourself or another person will be far greater than if you allowed a machine to do the work.
That moment will be significant not just because it will signal the end of one more human niche, but because it will signal the beginning of another: the era in which it will no longer be optional for machines to have ethical systems. Your car is speeding along a bridge at fifty miles per hour when errant school bus carrying forty innocent children crosses its path. Should your car swerve, possibly risking the life of its owner (you), in order to save the children, or keep going, putting all forty kids at risk? If the decision must be made in milliseconds, the computer will have to make the call.
These issues may be even more pressing when it comes to military robots. When, if ever, might it be ethical to send robots in the place of soldiers? Robot soldiers might not only be faster, stronger, and more reliable than human beings, they would also be immune from panic and sleep-deprivation, and never be overcome with a desire for vengeance. Yet, as The Human Rights Watch noted in a widely-publicized report earlier this week, robot soldiers would also be utterly devoid of human compassion, and could easily wreak unprecedented devastation in the hands of a Stalin or Pol Pot. Anyone who has seen the opening scenes of RoboCop knows why we have misgivings about robots being soldiers, or cops.
|Signs of the Near Future|
|A Self-Driving Truck that Completely Lacks the Whole Cab|
|Tories and Grits defend oil sands against National Geographic attack|
|Robotic Zoo: the Robots Are Coming|
|What Comes After Facebook?|
|“If you could decide today... how long do you want to live?”|
|“From sand to soil in 7 hours.”|
|A Bicycle with No Pedals You Run With|
|“They're usually these people that have been fucked by the system who are trying to unfuck themselves.”|
|“Parti.Vote is designed to make the US's representative government system more equitable.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“If the facial data and related personal information is stolen and put on the internet, it will cause big problems.”|
|“As users, it’s important to be aware of how the platform is manipulating you.”|
|"Hours after the fires in Santa Rosa I filmed this postal worker still delivering the mail."|
|Watson 2016 #thinkwatson|