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posted by chromas on Tuesday March 05 2019, @07:07AM   Printer-friendly
from the open-the-pod-bay-doors-HAL dept.

Is Ethical A.I. Even Possible?

When a news article revealed that Clarifai was working with the Pentagon and some employees questioned the ethics of building artificial intelligence that analyzed video captured by drones, the company said the project would save the lives of civilians and soldiers.

"Clarifai's mission is to accelerate the progress of humanity with continually improving A.I.," read a blog post from Matt Zeiler, the company's founder and chief executive, and a prominent A.I. researcher. Later, in a news media interview, Mr. Zeiler announced a new management position that would ensure all company projects were ethically sound.

As activists, researchers, and journalists voice concerns over the rise of artificial intelligence, warning against biased, deceptive and malicious applications, the companies building this technology are responding. From tech giants like Google and Microsoft to scrappy A.I. start-ups, many are creating corporate principles meant to ensure their systems are designed and deployed in an ethical way. Some set up ethics officers or review boards to oversee these principles.

But tensions continue to rise as some question whether these promises will ultimately be kept. Companies can change course. Idealism can bow to financial pressure. Some activists — and even some companies — are beginning to argue that the only way to ensure ethical practices is through government regulation.

"We don't want to see a commercial race to the bottom," Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, said at the New Work Summit in Half Moon Bay, Calif., hosted last week by The New York Times. "Law is needed."

Possible != Probable. And the "needed law" could come in the form of a ban and/or surveillance of coding and hardware-building activities.


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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by c0lo on Tuesday March 05 2019, @11:30AM

    by c0lo (156) on Tuesday March 05 2019, @11:30AM (#810206) Journal

    it's not about how intelligent it is, the outcry is about how powerful tools are to be used by bad agents (governments, corporations, mafia, whatever).
    and the current "AI" tools are indeed objectively powerful.

    Not that hard to beat. E.g. face recognition [] (y'all like it)

    meta: I find it interesting that when I list bad agents, I immediately think of government and corporations, then mafia comes as an afterthought.

    Paradoxically, the danger is not in the effectiveness of the "AI" (*), but in the credence in its effectiveness the government/corporations will be willing to lend to it.
    Too cryptic? Remember the polygraph? As BS as it is, is it still used [] by law enforcement and judicial entities, and in some cases employers.


    (*) one can "poison" them almost easy today [], will be trivial when the open source will take it as a great way to do something with the spare time

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