Morals and machines

This text is about guilt. More about that in the end.

Cars move alone, drones kill alone, robots are about to make their own decisions and AI goes shopping for us.

Whenever I read about this kind of stuff the most important question seems to be about the morals: What if the machine would do something wrong? What if the machine would cause an accident and kill people? Or what if a drone drops a bomb on my own house?

Yes. Exactly. What if?

Bullshit happens. With machine or without machine. Still there is quite the possibility that a machine does less mistakes than a human would do: A machine does not have emotions but decides based on an algorithm. This algorithm could be wrong in the beginning but will be fixed within the process. Nevertheless machines can make mistakes: Bad view, weird movements, similar shape etc.

For humans (to make mistakes) we need to add their mood, their mind, their general personality, their last meal and if they think they get paid enough for their job. But. Humans have morals.

So what the heck does this mean? It means that we are still looking for someone to blame if anything goes south. A machine won’t bother to be in prison, a machine is hard to blame for whatever it is that might have gone wrong. This means that we need to get used to the idea that bullshit happens with nobody around to blame. Nevertheless if the machine makes a mistake we can still blame the programmer behind the algorithm. At least for the time being.

It does not feel right to get killed by a machine. Still this is because of the idea of guilt and blame. The dead ones are dead. So it is about the ones left behind who need to deal with what happened. I wrote about this before and it is a difficult topic. It should not stop us from using AI wherever we can, Because AI will do a better job and less mistakes just because it is NOT human.

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1 Response to Morals and machines

  1. Robobekya says:

    To look more into this perspective.. nothing has or would really change. Machines have been around for centuries. Machines have done harm, and will continue doing so just as they have also done good and will probably continue doing so. Even if we don’t take guns as an example (since it is an obvious answer) mass production is one source of destruction. We are dying anyway.. a sad reality. While humans see themselves as above all, they would be their own worst enemy and cause it’s own extinction. (We could just blame it on them… probably that’s your point) (who else to blame anyway? The goats? Nature?) Nature is just doing it’s thing. Survival. Meanwhile we are doing more than just survival. That’s when things have lost their balance. Maybe a giant rock from outer space would hit this planet .. again. Then no one would be blamed… that doesn’t stop someone from blaming.

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