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Can #robots be trusted to know right from wrong? | #algorithms #morality

Can #robots be trusted to know right from wrong? | #algorithms #morality | Human Nature  ,Brain and Cognitive Sciences &Singularity | Scoop.it
HAL 9000 (credit: Warner Bros.) Is it possible to develop moral autonomous robots with a sense for right, wrong, and the consequences of

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luiy's curator insight, May 13, 2014 12:50 PM

Is it possible to develop “moral” autonomous robots with a sense for right, wrong, and the consequences of both?

 

Researchers from Tufts University, Brown University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute think so, and are teaming with the U.S. Navy to explore technology that would pave the way to do exactly that.

“Moral competence can be roughly thought about as the ability to learn, reason with, act upon, and talk about the laws and societal conventions on which humans tend to agree,” says principal investigator Matthias Scheutz, professor of computer science at Tufts School of Engineering and director of the Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory (HRI Lab) at Tufts.

 

“The question is whether machines — or any other artificial system, for that matter — can emulate and exercise these abilities.”

But since there’s no universal agreement on the morality of laws and societal conventions, this raises some interesting questions. Was HAL 9000 (HAL = (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) moral? Who defines morality?

 
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Google's #Glass Castle: The Rise and Fear of a #Transhuman Future I #cyborgs #cyberculture

Google's #Glass Castle: The Rise and Fear of a #Transhuman Future I #cyborgs #cyberculture | Human Nature  ,Brain and Cognitive Sciences &Singularity | Scoop.it
What happens when humans become more than human? Or when computers surpass humanity to become the dominant 'species' on earth in new cyborg hybrid?

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luiy's curator insight, December 10, 2013 7:17 AM

Most scholars believe that the movement of transhumanism was unofficially started in 1923 with J.B.S. Haldane’s essay “Prometheus: Science and the Future”. In this essay, Haldane introduced a notable idea; that current political and economic states made it likely that science will develop on its own. This would allow recent developments in biology to impact political choices. These scientific developments would include topics like Eugenics—something fraught with peril—and ectogenesis (the creation of life within an artificial environment). Haldane’s thoughts would pervade much of science for the next 100 years, creating a sense that mankind was in a perfect environment politically and economically to create the tools that would allow one to overcome their bodily weaknesses and become like Nietzsche’s Supermen.

 

The official founder of transhumanism—and the individual who coined the term—is considered to be biologist Julian Huxley, brother to famous author and activist Aldous Huxley. In a 1957 essay, Huxley presented a new idea:

 

“Up till now human life has generally been, as Hobbes described it, ‘nasty, brutish and short’; the great majority of human beings (if they have not already died young) have been afflicted with misery… we can justifiably hold the belief that these lands of possibility exist, and that the present limitations and miserable frustrations of our existence could be in large measure surmounted… The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself —- not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity.”

This belief that humanity has the potential to “transcend” its current state seemed revolutionary.

 

This idea of transcendence would pervade early science fiction as early as the ‘50s and ‘60s. The best example of this thought was Arthur C. Clarke’s book 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). In this novel, the hero finds a technological obelisk on an alien world that provided an opportunity to overcome physical barriers and become a being of pure energy, transcending human evolution. However, Clarke’s understanding of this cultural evolution is not the only one.

 

Another key idea is that artificial intelligence’s mental capabilities will eventually go through a “Singularity”, where the data capability exceeds that of a mortal man. This Singularity is a concept invented by computer scientist Vernor Vinge who predicted the sudden rise of transistors and intelligence in computer brains. From this, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggested that humanity would eventually mix its subconscious with an AI, becoming “one with the machine”. There are multiple variations on these stories, but all of them offer the same result, the ability to gain immortality through technology and overcome human suffering.