ETHICS IN A WORLD OF ROBOTS

wafflejourneyAI and Robotics

Nov 14, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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ETHICS IN A WORLD OF ROBOTS

medical ethics when all things are possible

ROBOTIC POTENTIAL
-
Massive


Foxconn

International makes components for
iPhones,
iPads
, etc. It will buy enough robots
to replace 1.2 million workers in China.


Stomach, or gastric, cancer is the second
leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide
and is particularly common in
East Asia.
Singapore’s National University Ho and
Phee

made a crab that enters through the mouth
to ‘eat’ cancer in the stomach.

ROBOTS BRING A HOST OF ETHICAL ISSUES


Range and Scope of Activity


Blurring line between human and machine


Technology already beyond the intelligence
of most humans


Perception of ‘Control’ fuzzy


Replacing humans acceptable?


Move over humans, we’ll fix this thing


Building a ‘sensitive’ robot?

SINGULARITY AND ETHICAL
ISSUES


Even
if a super
-
robot were to control all medical
systems in the future, with unlimited possibilities to
manipulate the human, so long as the word ‘human’
applies, there must be the presumption of an ethical
awareness, an available intentionality to express self
meaningfully, and some sense of legitimate ‘choice’. In
effect, the ‘human’ ceases to exist when these values
are removed or compromised beyond recognition. So
long as the statement “x is better for humans” has
relevance, then, ethical evaluation will define the
human. Even if we adopt
Zadeh’s

(1988) argument for
fuzzy logic, we just have no means of relating to
beings who do not exhibit these minimal elements.

ETHICS IN A WORLD OF ROBOTS


Ethical Reasoning is a contested area in
current human existence, and just about any
area of medical procedure has ethical
dilemmas.


The literature on all aspects of futurism
bristles with ethical challenges.


The very definition of the human may be
modified beyond our current perceptions.


SOME SYSTEMIC ISSUES AND ETHICS


NANOTECHNOLOGY AND THE ETHICS OF
FORECASTING: David Sanford Horner


TRANSCENDING BIOLOGY: Ray Kurzweil


THE HUMAN
-
NOT WELCOME IN THE
FUTURE: William Joy


ETHICAL ISSUES IN AI: Richard Mason





UNPACKING THE ISSUES:


NANOTECHNOLOGY:

Horner


“‘
nanomedicine
’ devoted not merely to ameliorative
medical treatment but to the improvement of human
performance”


“a forecast may only be properly made if it is made on
the basis of sufficient knowledge, experience and
evidence”


“if the outcomes are beyond our knowledge and
control then we can’t be held responsible for them.
But it is a central plank of moral theory that moral
agency and
judgement

must be immune to luck”


“Ergo: the need for
nano
-
ethics”

UNPACKING THE ISSUES


TRANSCENDING BIOLOGY: Kurzweil


“human life will be irreversibly transformed..
Although neither utopian or dystopian, this epoch
will transform the concepts that we rely on to give
meaning to our lives, from our business models to
the cycle of human life, including death itself”


“There will be no distinction, post
-
Singularity,
between human and machine or between physical
and virtual reality”

UNPACKING THE ISSUES


TRANSCENDING BIOLOGY: Kurzweil


“six historical epochs that are driven, in a law
-
like
manner (‘the law of accelerating returns’), by the
exponential growth of information and
technology”


“‘a theory of technological evolution’ as
justification of the shape of future human society”

UNPACKING THE ISSUES


THE HUMAN
-
NOT WELCOME IN THE
FUTURE: William Joy


“genetic engineering, robotics, and
nanotechnology (GNR)

will extinguish human
beings as we now know them”


“Joy’s
big fish eat little fish

argument quotes
robotics pioneer Hans Moravec: “
Biological species
almost never survive encounters with superior
competitors
.”

UNPACKING THE ISSUES


THE HUMAN
-
NOT WELCOME IN THE
FUTURE


“self
-
replication amplifies the danger of GNR: “
A
bomb is blown up only once

but one
bot

can
become many, and quickly get out of control
.”


“21
st

century technologies “
are widely within the
reach of individuals or small groups

knowledge
alone will enable the use of them
,” I.E. “knowledge
-
enabled mass destruction (KMD).”



we are on the cusp of the further perfection of
extreme evil
…”



UNPACKING THE ISSUES


THE HUMAN
-
NOT WELCOME IN THE FUTURE



It seems far more likely that a robotic existence would
not be like a human one in any sense that we
understand, that the robots would in no sense be our
children, that on this path our humanity may well be
lost
.”


“this is the first moment in the history of our planet
when any species by its voluntary actions has become a
danger to itself.”



The only realistic alternative I see is relinquishment: to
limit development of the technologies that are too
dangerous, by limiting our pursuit of certain kinds of
knowledge
.”

UNPACKING THE ISSUES


ETHICAL ISSUES IN AI: Richard Mason


Fundamental assumption: “[e]very aspect of
learning or any other feature of intelligence can in
principle be so precisely described that a machine
can be made to simulate it.” (McCarthy, 1956)


“Approaches based on this assumption are called
symbolic

or
symbol
-
processing AI
.”


UNPACKING THE ISSUES


ETHICAL ISSUES IN AI: Richard Mason


Wiener observed: “It has long been clear to me that the
modern ultra
-
rapid computing machine was in principle an
ideal central nervous system to an apparatus for automatic
control…this new development has unbounded possibilities
for good and evil.”


“Physically they will be silicon based rather than carbon
based; but, they will be able to think, feel, have moods, be
emotional, interact socially with others, draw on common
sense, and have a “soul.” Thus, Al
-
based systems, will
become the next stage in the evolution of life, emerge as
our successors, and create a future society populated and
governed by computers”

UNPACKING THE ISSUES


ETHICAL ISSUES IN AI: Richard Mason


“the question of granting personhood to an AI
machine or robot depends on where the line is
drawn between persons and inanimate objects”


“The overarching criterion is displaying some form
of cognitive capacity

being conscious, having
perceptions, feeling sensations”




UNPACKING THE ISSUES


ETHICAL ISSUES IN AI: Richard Mason


Turing also predicted at mid
-
century that “in
about fifty years’ time, it will be possible to
programme computers … to make them play the
imitation game so well that an average
interrogator will not have more than a seventy
percent chance of making the right identification
after five minutes questioning.” He concluded,
“We may hope that machines will eventually
compete with men in all purely intellectual fields.”


UNPACKING THE ISSUES


ETHICAL ISSUES IN AI: Richard Mason


“While the possibility of a machine being granted
moral status is the most compelling ethical issue
raised by AI, there are others, determined largely by
the uses to which AI programs are actually put. These
ethical considerations have evolved as AI research and
development has progressed. AI programs form
relationships with other entities. They are used, for
example, to advise human users, make decisions, and
in the case of intelligent software agents to chat with
people, search for information, look for news, find
jobs, and shop for goods and locate the best prices.
Their role in these relationships engenders moral
responsibility. “

BIBLIOGRAPHY


Grunwald
, Armin. Nanotechnology
-
A New Field of
Ethical Inquiry?
Science and Engineering Ethics

11
(2):187
-
201.


Horner, D.S., 2007a. Forecasting Ethics and the
Ethics of Forecasting: the case of Nanotechnology.
In: T.W. Bynum, K. Murata, and S.
Rogerson
, eds.
Globalisation
: Bridging the Global Nature of
Information and Communication Technology and the
Local Nature of Human Beings. ETHICOMP 2007,
Vol.1. Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan 27
-
29 March
2007. Tokyo: Global e
-
SCM Research Centre, Meiji
University, pp. 257
-
267.



BIBLIOGRAPHY


Joy, William. 2000. “The future doesn’t need
us.”
Wired Magazine.


Kurzweil
, Ray. 2005. The Singularity is near:
when humans transcend biology. London:
Duckworth.


Mason, Brian. 2004. Ethical Issues in Artificial
Intelligence
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B0122272404000642#mc0
473


Zadeh
, L.A. 1988.Fuzzy Logic.
Computer
, Vol.
21, #4, 83
-
93


CONTACT INFORMATION

Dr. Earle Waugh

Centre for the Cross
-
Cultural Study of
Health and Healing

Department of Family Medicine

University of Alberta

901 College Plaza

Edmonton, AB T6G 2C8

Ph: 780 492
-
6424

Email: ewaugh@ualberta.ca