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Machine Ethics

Humanising Machines

Humanising Machines

In our present age we have reached a critical moment; Machine learning is on the verge of transforming our lives. However, our approach to this technology is still experimental; we are only beginning to make sense of what we are doing and the need for a moral compass is of great importance at a time when humanity is more divided than ever.

Many of the ethical problems of machine learning have already arisen in analogous forms throughout history and we will consider how, for example, we have developed trust and better social relations through innovative solutions at different times. History tells us that human beings tend not to foresee problems associated with our own development but, if we learn our lessons, then we take measures during the early stage of machine learning to minimize unintended and undesirable social consequences. It is possible to build incentives into machine learning that can help to improve trust in various transactions.


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Lagniappe

Lagniappe

Abigail frowned at the plethora of strange choices on offer at Conrad’s Beanery. This was an unfamiliar corner of the world, with a sophisticated culture that that could also be a little flamboyant or even pretentious at times.

Her Sidekick noticed the tension of decision fatigue in her biopatterns, and made a pre-selection for her, with a 3-2-1 countdown before confirming. 

Halcyon Mongongo Mélange? Ok.” Abigail trusted her Sidekick to know the optimal choice given her mood, gut biota, nutritional needs, dietary wishes, and openness to new experiences.


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The Supermoral Singularity

The Supermoral Singularity

We are facing a machine-driven moral singularity in the near future. Surprisingly, amoral machines are less of a problem than supermoral ones.

We have checking mechanisms in our society that aim to discover and prevent sociopathic activity. Most of it is rather primitive, but it works reasonably well after the fact. Amoral machines may have watchdogs and safeguards to monitor activity for actions that stray far from given norms.

However, the emergence of supermoral thought patterns will be very difficult to detect. Just as we can scarcely imagine how one might perceive the word with an IQ of 200, it is very challenging to predict the actions of machines with objectively better universal morals than we ourselves possess.


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