In the last post on AI we met Asimov’s laws of robotics and looked at the ethical problems about human instruction around that.
First Law A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
Second Law A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
Third Law A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
The laws in themselves are rather beautiful though and if humans could be programmed to follow them the world would be a better place. The problems with ethics and the world in general is mainly… well… us really. The irony is that we came up with those ethics. So this post asks the question – can AI machines run us better than we run ourselves?
We’re selfish, irrational, inconsistent, aggressive, biased etc and this is not good for the world or for us. Apart from a bit of unnatural selection there’s no real benefit to the world in general for these behaviors and are literally our lizard brains trying to survive. The we have the leaders of this world, (no names need mentioning) it doesn’t matter who’s in charge they’re human and have faults and the more power you have the worse these things can get.
Mankind is simply unable to govern itself ethically, fairly and intelligentlyMe
The different systems of human government seem to be polarised between two systems of conservatism and socialism and different extremes of those. As is frequently pointed out by those that oppose the other (and even within if they’re honest) group they’re not perfect. Yet both of them contain aspects that are to be commended and are in fact needed. What this boils down to simply is that mankind is simply unable to govern itself ethically, fairly and intelligently.
This is something that will probably put fear, dread, anger and resentment with many but if we cannot run ourselves properly then perhaps there’s a place in society where artificial intelligence could help us?
This would be in no way easy, the variables, algorithms and working would be a nightmare. But when we consider that a machine has no bias, would operate the same way no matter if it’s Monday, Friday, just before lunch or if it’s been working for 10,000 hours straight and it wouldn’t have to worry about being re-elected. Getting a machine running on artificial intelligence to make big decisions that would be better for us in the long term could benefit mankind immensely.
This isn’t about with holding freedoms and AI controlling us, rather the opposite. AI could free us up where we don’t have to manage the resources and problems that we ourselves create it would have the potential to be far more fair and ethical and reasonable. Although some I know would say a monkey would do a better job than those we have in charge and to be fair – they’re not wrong.
This is the last post in this series on AI – whether we like it or not it’s here to stay and it will be used as those who develop it lead. Where do you think it’s going to go? Have we gone too far or is AI simply the next step in human development? What are your thoughts?
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