Don’t  Fear the AI

May 14, 2015

Will intelligent machines bring about the downfall of the human race? Unlikely, says The Technium, in “Why I Don’t Worry About a Super AI.” The blogger details four specific reasons he or she is unafraid: First, AI does not seem to adhere to Moore’s law, so no Terminators anytime soon. Also, we do have the power to reprogram any uppity AI that does crop up and (reason three) it is unlikely that an AI would develop the initiative to reprogram itself, anyway. Finally, we should see managing this technology as an opportunity to clarify our own principles, instead of a path to dystopia. The blog opines:

“AI gives us the opportunity to elevate and sharpen our own ethics and morality and ambition. We smugly believe humans – all humans – have superior behavior to machines, but human ethics are sloppy, slippery, inconsistent, and often suspect. […] The clear ethical programing AIs need to follow will force us to bear down and be much clearer about why we believe what we think we believe. Under what conditions do we want to be relativistic? What specific contexts do we want the law to be contextual? Human morality is a mess of conundrums that could benefit from scrutiny, less superstition, and more evidence-based thinking. We’ll quickly find that trying to train AIs to be more humanistic will challenge us to be more humanistic. In the way that children can better their parents, the challenge of rearing AIs is an opportunity – not a horror. We should welcome it.”

Machine learning as a catalyst for philosophical progress—interesting perspective. See the post for more details behind this writer’s reasoning. Is he or she being realistic, or naïve?

Cynthia Murrell, May 14, 2015

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