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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: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday March 05 2019, @06:42PM (1 child)

    by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday March 05 2019, @06:42PM (#810352) Journal

    Long answer: Human beings have ethics because we have emotions telling us that right and wrong exist.

    Long answer wrong. Short rebuttal: AIs can be more ethical, since they are rule-following machines, and do not have emotions, which are what usually cause human meatpuppets to be unethical.

    It's like this: an AI would have no problem paying it's fair share of taxes. But the TMB is going to raise a big stink about "theft", and how sharing is not caring, and how we should not have a government at all. Emotional. Irrational. Unethical.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06 2019, @12:34AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06 2019, @12:34AM (#810509)

    Ethics outside the human realm is insane! Ethics are simply tools to sell the goals of your empire to other humans, so they will kill for you, and it will be a just killing. You don't have to "sell" anything to AI (Oy! how stupid that "word"!). You want compliance, service, not stupid masturbatory philosophical arguments, what a complete waste of time, and for AI, electricity. You point it at the target and fire, mission accomplished, goddammit!

    You damn people have to lay down your weapons!