Robotics, AI, and Ethics

Over the past half century, researchers and engineers have primarily been interested in the the technical aspects of artificial
intelligence and robotics. However, as technology becomes more advanced some are starting to examine a concept that is typically restricted to the realm of human interactions - ethical behavior.
http://www.syntheticthought.com/st/robotics/59-general/48-robotics-ai-and-ethics
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

http://www.syntheticthought.com/st/robotics/59-general/48-robotics-ai-and-ethics
Morals, ethics (and also goals of most religions) may be very fine and most people are good. The problem is that there is a very small but unfortunately non-zero percentage of bad guys, who never "care" morals and ethics. Thus crimes, wars etc. cannot be eradicated from this world through preaching morals and ethics, which seems to be defacto a waste of time and effort, sadly. I read that killing and warfare also occur in chimpanzees. Man's higer intelligence apparently doesn't help him to fare better than lower species.
M. K. Shen
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Mok-Kong Shen wrote:
[snip]
I like to reproduce a quote concerning peace from R. Biegelow, The dawn warriors: Man's evolution toward peace, London, 1969, p.216:
Only an even mightier juggernaut of even more complex and all-pervading social organization can establish and maintain global law and order.
M. K. Shen
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Hmmmmmmmm....... I wonder what that could be???????????????????????
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Don Stockbauer schrieb:

In my understanding, the author meant that it is utopic, i.e. entierly unrealistic, to expect that mankind would ever live permanently in peace. The lesson of the second world war is practically null in my humble view.
M. K. Shen
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I think this is unduly pessimistic. All countries realize that nuclear wear would be a total disaster where the losses would completely outweigh any gains. In war between fairly equal nation states this rubric holds true. Peace CAN be negotiated through mutual interest.
The moral questions arise when a strong nation is fighting a very much weaker one. This is the real point about the morality of robotic war.People talk about wars being fought between robots. This will never be the case. Robots will be fighting on one side. Flesh and blood will be on the other side. Science fiction stories talk about the human race being invaded from space and fighting robots. Science fact is that the technological nations of Earth are developing robots in order to fight Third World countries. They are not being developed to fight each other.
- Ian Parker
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That's what's so nice about the Global Brain. It brings about Eternal Peace automatically and, oddly enough, unavoidably. Hmmmmmm....... That sounds a bit like a religion, doesn't it? But it's science (cybernetics). See the Principia Cybernetica for more optimism.
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There is a whole lot here which I think needs picking over. There is an extremely important point about the Internet and it is this. All our TV, entertainment and news id going to come via tailored feeds. It will because this is what we prefer. We want to look at programs we are interested in. A global brain would make sure that we got the appropriate feeds and did not engage in terrorism, war etc. etc. We would all have a common experience and the nation state would be a thing of the past.
This machine would be clever. It would constantly be giving us what we wanted, or what we appeared to want, down to the best plot of "adult" movie to titillate us. There is nothing way out in this. In fact it is already happening in a limited way with Google.
There are a number of points. The first of these is what would happen if someone malevolent hijacked the system for their own ends? Suppose malevolence WANTED war, terrorism etc. for their own ends. Suppose terrorism was "glorified" and presented as noble self sacrifice. This is, in effect, what happened in Wilhelmite and then in Nazi Germany. The real question to ask is could a code of ethics be imprinted on Google which governments would find difficulty in circumventing?
The second point is that in certain countries, not the major ones, there is censorship and organized unreason. Our brain will probably find a way of dealing with this. I have mentioned Arabic scholarship and the Afghan Qur'an. Disambiguation in translation is closely related to the ability to perform textual criticism. This may be a trivial point but -
1) For this discussion group it is extremely interesting even if a sideline.
2) Obama is going to look a bit silly if the settlement that he "imposes" on Afghanistan is totally undermined by "the Brain", as it surely must be.
This leads me on to a third point which is this. "How will politicians react if the World is being governed by a Brain and not by them?" No doubt the Brain will attempt to give politicians the illusion of control. That will be part of its technique. Of course, in a "democratic" country the Brain will decide who is elected.
- Ian Parker
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The "global brain" that Don talks about is already here. It's just what results when you link the needs and desires of people into a functioning unit. We build those links with our economy, our governments, our communication systems, and all our social organizations. It's just called culture, or society. And, BTW, it's already conscious (but that's a debate for another thread).
What's happening over time is that the links are becoming stronger, and wider reaching. As we develop the technologies to allow it to happen, we are being more closely linked into a larger, and stronger, and smarter, global brain.

That's happened many times. It's what happens when a strong dictator comes into power. They do it by finding a way to hijack the system to meet their own desires.
We have developed "global brain" systems that minimize the odds of that happening. It's what a democracy is all about. It's a system where every person is given equal power to control the system (one person, one vote). And we structure our society to that control, is the supreme control of power in the land so that some other power, like Google, can't take it away from us.
The odds of one bad guy subverting the power of the US government (for example) is very small. But it's something we always have to be very vigilant about, which is why someone like Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler, or Kim Jong-il can scare us so much.

Well, the US has lots of organized unreason as well. We elected an idiot to run the country for 8 years in one of the most unreasoned moves I've seen in my life. But that's the price you pay for living in a democracy. The power is held by the people as a group, so you live and die by their reasoned, and unreasoned view. The net win is that most people, get things "there way", most the time, even if it's not the smartest way. The goal is to maximize the happiness of the group by minimizing the disagreement in the mob. If most people want to let the idiot run the country, we let the idiot run the country becuase to do anything else would make more people less happy.

I don't understand your points about the Qur'an.
However, I do understand that some large percentage of the middle east believes that very old and out of date book tells them what they should do as a culture.
Though the US has been a mostly Christian nation and has strong Christian beliefs flowing though our culture, the culture is not ruled by the bible. It's ruled by our constitution - a far smaller, but far more important, document. It's the highest authority in our land in terms of binding us together as a culture - as a functioning "Global Brain". Next in power, are the state constitutions, and some where way down the line, are the religious beliefs like the bibles and the Qur'ans. There's a strict pecking order on what authority binds our culture together, and the religious doctrines have always been way down the ladder.
This came about in the US becuase we were founded from such a wide mix of different religions at a time where many were looking to escape from the religious based cultures - which are just another form of dictatorship.
Though religion still plays an important role in what the US is (sadly in my view), it's not the ultimate power. And though it got a born again idiot elected to run the US for 8 years, the real power of the land, the constitution, got him removed, without anyone having to be killed.
The middle east, (the little I understand it), is till mostly a religious based culture. It's what most the west rejected as a bad way to organize a society hundreds of years ago. It's what's creating the most friction between our cultures as history and fate forces us to figure out a way to coexist and ultimately, to merge.
A fundamental tenet of western culture is that we do not respect religion as the corner stone of our society. A constitution is. But if you are raised in a culture that puts the religions beliefs as the ultimate foundation of "right" in the land, it's not easy to accept, or even understand, a culture that is organized around a constitution. Sure, they can understand how a government might be important, and how it needs a constitution to operate if it's not going to be a dictatorship, but what they won't understand, is this idea that this stupid little paper that tells the government what to do, is to be treated as the highest authority in the land - higher than any religious belief.
Though I understand very little about the middle east and the cultures there, I do get the strong impression they, as a culture, can't grasp, or understand this, and certainly will not accept it any time soon.
But until they accept a constitutional based democracy as the ruling force in the land, their culture won't be compatible with the west. And as long as they aren't compatible with the west, we can't merge as a strong united "global brain" culture. And until we find a way to merge, the west is not going to fully trust what happens there, and as long as the region is important to us, becuase of oil, or because of general world stability, the west will keep their "boot" on them. They will be held slaves to the desire of our "global brain culture" until they convert, or until we get too weak to hold them. And our desire is not have them as slaves, or to hold them hostage, but to have them another healthy functioning part of the global brain. But for that to happen, they have to learn how to create a democracy, and learn how to create a culture run by voting citizens, and not run by clerics, and dictators.
I'm not sure how far away they are from that, but it seems like they are still very far away from - maybe 1 or 2 generations of family members away from it still.
I wrote all that because your comments about the Qur'an sound like you believe the Qur'an and what it says is important in that society (which I believe it is too). My point with this long drawn out reply, is that until they learn to stop looking at the wording of some religious document to lead them, and instead, write their own constitution to form a democratic government, and let that lead them, they won't have a chance of being compatible with the west. The conflict between the middle east and the west won't end, until either they change, or the west changes. We will operate as two separate sub-global-brains fighting with each other, until we become more compatible and are able to merge into one larger and stronger global brain.
Where as Bush was an old school little brain trying to fight the other brains just becuase they were different and he couldn't understand someone if they are different, Obama understands that the solution to our disagreements and war is to do whatever we can to help the merging of our societies to occur.

The US has been ruled by a "global brain" for over 200 years now. It's the global brain formed by the voting population of the US. The politicians do not rule the US, the people do. That's why one was kicked out, and another was put in place regardless of what they might have wanted (or the other 20 that didn't get picked might have wanted).
The combined desires of the world population is what we want to rule the world (in order to create maximize global happiness and minimize global wars and other problems). Currently, the desires of US citizens have far too much power over what happens to the rest of the world. The rest of the world deserves to have voting rights so we in the US don't stomp all over them with our opinions and desires. But that's not going to happen until they first learn to be part of a democracy in their own land. When they learn to do that, then later, we can look at merging them in with fair rights to the "global brain" which is still trying to form.

--
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com http://NewsReader.Com /
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Curt Welch wrote:

I wonder if things would be improved if we had some type of minimum standards for voting. It seems the current voting block tends to vote emotionally, not rationally. Bush/Cheney were able to use good old ignorant fear to their own ends. Right now it seems we're ruled by people who get their worldview from Entertainment Tonight.
Mike Ross
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snipped-for-privacy@somewhere.net wrote:

Oh, that would be Australia then, where because people are required to vote, people actually wake up a little once every four years and give some thought to what policies are likely to benefit them. This brings out the otherwise apathetic middle ground, which is where the USA has such a huge hole in its voting population, and so gets dominated by minorities and "true believers". The AU system is much more stable and less partisan.
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On May 11, 5:24pm, snipped-for-privacy@somewhere.net wrote:

Well, idiot Bush gets his aircraft information from Disney World. Which is why the people with actual technology brains even build stuff like Holographics, All-In-One Printers, XML, USB, On- Line Banking, On-Line Shopping, On-Line Publishling, C++, Distributed Processing, Light Sticks, Compact Flourescent Lighting, Broadband Fiber Optics, Cell Phones, Drones, Cruise Missiles, AUVs,, and Sefl-Assembling Robots.
And idiot Cheney gets all his economic theories from Saudia Arabia. So that's what why the people with actual non-zero technology brains build Pv Cell Energy, Solar Energy, Neo Wind Energy, Biodiesel, MP3. MPEG, CD-rom, DVD-rom, Optical Computers, Thermo-Electrical, Microwave Cooling, and Self-Replicating Machines.

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