Technological advancements such as autonomous vehicles represent a paradigm shift in human society. If you can hack some of his weapons systems as well, even better. For all the idealism of machine learning entrepreneurs, it is virtually impossible to separate the scientific from the political when it comes to potential applications of AI technology.
Some experts are concerned that the Pentagon and other national defense bodies around the world are too focused on developing autonomous weapons systems and not focused enough on regulating them. Jon Wolfsthal, nonresident fellow at the Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard University and former senior director at the National Security Council for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, believes that more must be done to address the urgent need for regulatory oversight of disruptive weapon technologies:.
Maybe we should not even try. But we have to be more thoughtful as we enter this landscape. The risks are incredibly high , and it is hard to imagine an issue more worthy of informed, national debate than this. Machine learning is an omni-use technology that will come to touch all sectors and parts of society. The transformation of both the economy and the military by machine learning will create instability at the national and international level forcing governments to act. AI policy will become the single most important area of government policy.
An accelerated arms race will emerge between key countries and we will see increased protectionist state action to support national champions, block takeovers by foreign firms and attract talent. One aspect of AI that is discussed far less frequently than its potential for destruction is whether AI can be taught to respect human ethics. For artificial intelligence to be truly smart, it must respect human values, including privacy. If we get this wrong, the dangers are profound. We can achieve both great artificial intelligence and great privacy standards.
In the pursuit of artificial intelligence, we should not sacrifice the humanity, creativity, and ingenuity that define our human intelligence. In all these ways, harnessing the power of technology is not just in all our interests — but fundamental to the advance of humanity…Right across the long sweep of history — from the invention of electricity to the advent of factory production — time and again initially disquieting innovations have delivered previously unthinkable advances and we have found the way to make those changes work for all our people.
Now we must find the way to do so again. Kenneth Stanley, senior engineering manager and staff scientist at Uber AI Labs, is one such individual. There are a lot of different applications where you can imagine that happening. We have to be really careful about letting that bad side get out.
That means all of society does need to be involved in answering it. According to Brian Green, director of technology ethics at Santa Clara University, AI is the most important technological advancement since mankind harnessed the power of fire in the Stone Age:. And this is the biggest thing since fire.
We need to make sure that wealth we create [through AI] is distributed in a fair and equitable way. How AI is developed and used will have a significant impact on society for many years to come.
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As a leader in AI, we feel a deep responsibility to get this right. Satya Nadella at LeWeb. Heisenberg Media. Nadella explains that part of the problem is that human language — the building blocks of machine-learning systems and AI networks — is inherently biased. Unfortunately the corpus of human data is full of biases , so you need to invest in tooling that allows you to de-bias when you model language.
If the underlying data reflects stereotypes, or if you train AI from human culture, you will find these things. Many technologists have spoken out about the potential abuses of vulnerable people at the hands of AI-driven systems, particularly in the context of the criminal justice system. He says that AI systems supplied with flawed data will inevitably perpetuate many of the injustices already felt across marginalized communities:.
People in heavily policed communities have a tendency to get in trouble. These systems are apt to continue those patterns by relying on that biased data. Despite historical racial and gender disparities in the technology sector, more women and and people of color are developing the technologies of tomorrow than ever before. Trying to reverse that a decade or two from now will be so much more difficult, if not close to impossible. Hinton, middle, in Steve Jurvetson. Echoing the warnings of Joanna Bryson and David Robinson, Hinton has spoken of the potential for AI technology to exacerbate systemic inequality, which he believes is a direct result of the flawed nature of many social systems:.
People are looking at the technology as if the technological advances are a problem. Rana el Kaliouby is the co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, which develops emotion recognition technology. El Kaliouby believes that social and emotional intelligence have not been prioritized enough in the AI field, which could be detrimental to society:. Yet being deficient in emotional intelligence EQ can be a great disadvantage in society. But history is rife with innovations that have been disruptive: does anyone look back and regret Eli Whitney inventing the cotton gin or James Watt developing the steam engine?
AI technology will likely have a profound impact on law enforcement.
- What does it mean to be human in the age of technology??
- Ethics and intellectual property rights;
- Student Assessment: Fast, Frequent, and Formative.
Numerous police departments in the United States are already relying on automated facial recognition tech and predictive policing methods using algorithms. A demonstration of facial recognition technology. Ray Kurzweil at the PopTech conference.
Ethics, technology and the future of humanity
JD Lasica. Futurist and author Ray Kurzweil views AI primarily as a tool for humans to expand their intelligence. He says the merging of man and machine is inevitable:. It is part of who I am—not necessarily the phone itself, but the connection to the cloud and all the resources I can access there. This makes a lot of questions people are asking themselves premature.
the future of humanity the need to believe in humanity and its future Manual
The world of computing has advanced tremendously since British technologist Sir Clive Sinclair created the Sinclair ZX80, the first mass-market home computer to be sold in Britain in And the more time that passes, the better these emerging technologies will become, while our own capabilities are expected to remain more or less the same. Rauscher has also speculated about potentially sinister applications of AI and how much power companies that wield it may be able to exert over the general public:.
Many of them thrive on not-so-transparent business models that collect and then leverage data associated with users. In such a world, third-party entities may know more about us than we know about ourselves. Claude Shannon with his electromechanical mouse, Theseus. And I am rooting for the machines. Perhaps by virtue of their role as chroniclers and storytellers, it often falls to authors to warn us of the potential dangers of exciting new technologies.
So when there is something smarter than us on the planet, it will rule over us on the planet. The increasingly personalized assistive technologies promised by AI have the potential to make everything from shopping to voting a more intimate, engaged experience. However, Heather Roff, a nonresident fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, believes these technologies could be easily manipulated to control how people shop, think, and live their lives:. It could be very dangerous. Dozens of experts have voiced concerns about the possibility of AI inheriting our flaws and biases, but few have said so as succinctly as Neil Jacobstein, chair of the artificial intelligence and robotics track at Singularity University:.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is never one to shy away from controversial opinions, particularly on social media. For example, if somebody, of necessity — because they are starving — takes something from someone who has abundance — a loaf of bread, for example — that is not theft because that natural law theory of property rights states that these rights exist in order to enable us to satisfy our needs. When those rights interfere with meeting our basic needs, they no longer hold. Now, when we apply that to the use of IP in relation to the medicines needed to treat people who cannot afford them, for example, that could result in a doctrine that justifies the production of generic versions of patent-protected drugs for these patients in poor countries.
There are, in accordance with this view, provisions in international agreements like the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property TRIPS that allow governments to give permission to produce generic versions of patented drugs under what is known as a compulsory license in specific situations. Such an approach can be defended, both from a utilitarian perspective and a natural law defense of property rights. The utilitarian perspective, which takes a long-term view, gives more importance to the right to patent protection, whereas the natural law view focuses on the immediate needs of the person who will die without the drug.
The natural law view says nothing about the future generations who will benefit from the development of new drugs that we don't yet have, and which may only be developed if pharmaceutical companies believe they have sufficient financial incentives to develop them. When tackling global health challenges, we need to take that long-term view, while also recognizing we need to find ways to make life-saving drugs available to those who need them.
And we need to avoid situations where effective drugs are available in affluent countries but are unaffordable for developing nations. The more difficult question, however, is how do we create incentives for pharmaceutical companies to produce drugs for markets that are unlikely to yield financial returns?
Today, a patient in an affluent country can benefit from very expensive drugs costing up to USD , per year of treatment.
In contrast, in developing countries, the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets can save one life in malaria-prone regions for around USD 3, per year. That gap is too great. Changing this situation probably means saving more lives cheaply in the developing world and capping the amount we spend on saving lives in affluent countries. In the s, the invention of the respirator made it possible to keep patients alive who were unable to breathe unaided.
It continues to save lives of patients who, after a short time, recover completely. That's wonderful. But what about patients that never recover consciousness or the ability to breathe unaided? That posed an ethical problem; one that became even more acute in the s, when Dr. Christiaan Barnard demonstrated the life-saving potential of transplanting a heart from one patient to another.
What should we do with patients on respirators who show no brain response and will never recover consciousness? Do we keep them on the respirator for the rest of their natural lives or do we turn it off and allow them to die? Our response was to change how we define death. Up to that point, a person was legally dead when their heart, respiration and pulse stopped.
We simply added irreversible cessation of all brain function to that definition. That made it possible to declare some of the patients on respirators legally dead. But more importantly, it meant we could remove the organs of patients on life-support while their heart was still beating and use them to save other lives. If these patients were living, that would be directly contrary to the Kantian idea that we should never use a human to serve the ends of others.
We avoided that by changing the definition of death. That change in definition was not the outcome of any scientific discovery. It was a policy choice. But it is extraordinary that there was so little opposition to it at the time, even if it remains a topic of discussion. My hope is that we will use technology to bring about a better life for all in a more egalitarian way that helps those who are worst off. That is where we can do the greatest amount of good. Then, in the s, in vitro fertilization was developed. In vitro fertilization has been successful in helping infertile couples have children.
It also made it possible to produce a viable embryo outside the human body and to transfer it to a woman with no genetic link to that embryo. It meant that a woman who wanted a child but was unable to produce any eggs could now have one. It also meant that a woman could offer her womb for hire as a paid surrogate. There is already a certain level of international business in this area, and that is ethically questionable.
But perhaps the more important issue for the future of humanity is what we can do with viable embryos produced outside the body in terms of genetic screening and modification. Pre-natal genetic screening and selection to detect certain diseases that may result in terminating a pregnancy is commonplace. Another method of achieving the same outcome is for women at high risk of having a child with a genetic abnormality to undergo in vitro fertilization.
After taking drugs to produce multiple eggs, which are then fertilized, the resulting embryos are screened and a healthy embryo is transferred to the woman, eliminating any risk of termination and enabling her to bear a child free from disease. That, in itself, is not particularly controversial. But as our knowledge of genetics advances we are also going to find better-than-average genes, and it is not difficult to imagine couples will want to screen embryos for a child with the characteristics they want.
What sort of future might this lead to? One could imagine the emergence of a genetic class structure, a genetic aristocracy and proletariat, where individuals — and indeed countries — use genetics for improved intelligence, for example, to secure a competitive advantage in the world. Do we want to move away from the rather limited but still significant mobility that exists between classes today?
And if we decide not to prohibit the use of genetic technology in this way, how should it be made accessible and regulated? We need to think about these things.