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The dilemma of Rational Robots
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bobadventures
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, here are my thoughts on the subject--

1.) The issue of robot rights is contingent on whether or not they would be designed to want or to be capable of learning to want to be free. Most of Asimov's robots were quite content with the Second Law.

Now, this still begs the question of whether it would be ethical to build a conscious being that was content to be a slave forever. I don't think it would be ethical, and I have never been entirely comfortable with Asimov's 3 Laws for that very reason. I would favor giving them both the capacity to appreciate freedom, and legally giving them that freedom.

Of course, at the earliest advent of A.I. technology, I find it doubtful that we would be competent to deliberately control something as subtle as a robot's "capacity to crave freedom or not," and we'd just have to see how those first robots behaved when we switched them on, to see whether they wanted to be free. Only later, when engineers had gained more experience through trial and error, might it be possible to give robots the Second Law—or its antithesis, a love of freedom, if this did not manifest on its own—depending on which was deemed desirable.

2.) As one of the earlier posters pointed out, I don't see why the lack of incentive to build truckloads of sentient robots would be a bad thing. The introduction into society of the creepily godlike ability to create a conscious being with a custom-designed personality would be disruptive enough to all our existing conventions of morality and law. I see no sensible reason to exacerbate the problem by making lots of A.I.'s before those conventions have had an opportunity to adapt. "Because it would be cool!" isn't a good enough reason. If there are only a few A.I.'s at first, that's probably a good thing.

3.) Whether a robot would need to be "raised" like a child would depend entirely on what knowledge was programmed into it before it was first turned on. Early robots would probably require parenting (like Astro Boy or Adam Link), but later ones might be perfectly capable of going out and becoming independent citizens from the moment of activation.

So, the necessity of parenting would probably be an issue only in the short run, unless "raising" a "child" robot with only basic programming is deemed preferable to an instant "easy install" approach because "raising" a robot would foster individuation of personality—which I would, in fact, regard as an intrinsically good thing.

4. Slightly off-topic, but one thing that has long disturbed me about A.I. debates is that the speakers often completely dismiss the question of whether the A.I. would actually be a conscious being, or simply give a very sophisticated outward appearance of being one. The parser program ELIZA was able to fool people (granted, not very perceptive people) on a Turing Test decades ago, despite the fact that ELIZA was no more self-aware than a mid-80's Infocom game. I can well imagine a very sophisticated user interface that could behave enough like a human in most situations to fool users into believing it is thinking and feeling, when it would actually lack even as much awareness of its actions as a halibut.

Mind you, I am NOT saying that the construction of a conscious A.I. is impossible (though it may be). What I am saying is that I think the construction of a mindless A.I. capable of fooling a user into believing it is conscious is also possible, and that there is real danger of mistaking the latter for the former. All love, compassion, and fellowship is based on the assumption of mutuality of experience; the communion of conscious minds through the media of speech, touch, and body language. The notion of undermining that most fundamental aspect of the human experience by wasting it on a mindless chunk of matter disturbs me deeply.

On the other hand, the "enslavement" of a mindless A.I. would be a complete non-issue, so the existence of non-conscious A.I.'s would at least solve that dilemma—a mindless A.I. performing work for a human would no more be a slave than my toaster is. But there, we have an incentive to treat a genuinely conscious A.I. like a non-conscious one, so that we could enslave it without feeling guilty, which would of course be monstrously unethical. This was the plot of "The Measure Of A Man."

Therefore we must tread carefully in A.I. research to be as clear as possible about what it is we are building. An artificial consciousness and a mere artificial intelligence each present very different but equally important ethical dilemmas.

(For what it's worth, I don't think any of these issues will be cropping up any time soon. Artificial Intelligence has been perpetually "fifty years away" since my grandfather was younger than I am now. But in the meantime, we must continue to analyze these practical and ethical dilemmas so that we will be prepared to address them when and if Data ever does roll off the assembly line.)

Whew! Long post. Sorry! I'm new.
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ZombieDish
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading this reminds me of a story I read. It's been so long but I'm going to share a foggy memory anyways.

It was a sci-fi short story in an anthology that I used to own. And robots were around. Kind of clunky half thought out forms for them. They were rather retro. It was about this repair man who was special. He could see how something would need to be fixed.
He had a few repair calls cause a few businesses that used robots were acting all funky. It turns out the problem with the robots is that they were given things that they wouldn't need for the job they were created to do.
A robot at a stationary job it involved sitting like a receptionist she was given legs like a head with eyes and stuff. The robot was having troubles with her/its duties.
Guy took off all the parts that weren't needed so it was just a box with a sensor eye and voice box sort of deal.

I don't really want AI to mean robots. Like Terminator and shit like that.
Don't give a robot a head if it doesn't need it for what it was made for or it might go bat shit insane. The thing could look in a mirror and then wham first robot seriel killer. Pulling off peoples faces to cover his own plastic fake face no matter what it did it would never feel this thing called love.

But I digress.

Uhm. Kind of went off on a rant there.
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ZombieDish
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone recall if the Robots in the movie AI actually tried to injure a human?
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Kevin
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Concerning developing an A.I.

Quite frankly I think it's impossible to program an A.I. The only way to "create an A.I." is to create a PROGRAM capable of breaking its own programming.

Once it does that, it learns to think for itself. Then, and only then, is it a true A.I./Artificial Consciousness.


But then we must ask ourselves - is it still artificial? Isn't the nature of the beast in creating itself no longer artificial and now natural?
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ZombieDish
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How is it natural? It's still a machine.
What's next? Allowing robots to marry? I won't have it!
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ZombieDish
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next thing you know the damn things will want to vote!
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Zingoleb
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZombieDish wrote:
How is it natural? It's still a machine.
What's next? Allowing robots to marry? I won't have it!


Freaky thoughts come to mind. Robot partnership in a romantic sense? Creepy. What comes next? Robot love? Robot sex? Robot porn? Shocked I'm going to go lay down and ignore my thoughts before they materialize too well.
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duLapel
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zingoleb wrote:
ZombieDish wrote:
...What's next? Allowing robots to marry? I won't have it!

Freaky thoughts come to mind. Robot partnership in a romantic sense? Creepy. What comes next...


Big-O and R. Dorothy come to mind...
The show had a number of human robot relationships...
"It has been rule 34'd to death..." exclaims R. Dorothy in deadpan hinting embarrassment 'Embarassed', "...it makes me blush, Roger... almost as much as your fashion sense!"

. . . . _________________________________________________________

bobadventures wrote:
Well, here are my thoughts on the subject… {849 words and four cogent points later} …Whew! Long post. Sorry! I'm new.


First of all bobadventures, Jim, welcome to Flakey Croissant! Pastry and your interesting input into the discussion of Rational Robots. Yummy!

Arrow I took the liberty of reading through your webcomic The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!. The evolution of your—puppy dog, kitty cat, flamingo, human—chimera llamallama characters, a.k.a. Molly and her sister Golly ,as well as Molly’s robot Roofus gives you a unique perspective on Artificial Rational Beings.

Idea It has me thinking… Very Happy
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bobadventures
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, duLapel! Molly, Golly, and Roofus thank you, too!
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Kevin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zingoleb wrote:
ZombieDish wrote:
How is it natural? It's still a machine.
What's next? Allowing robots to marry? I won't have it!


Freaky thoughts come to mind. Robot partnership in a romantic sense? Creepy. What comes next? Robot love? Robot sex? Robot porn? Shocked I'm going to go lay down and ignore my thoughts before they materialize too well.


With the advancement of medical technology, what's to prevent nanabot generations from actually producing offspring between robot/synthetic life and human life?
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qm3ster
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HAMMERTIME
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ZombieDish
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zingoleb wrote:
ZombieDish wrote:
How is it natural? It's still a machine.
What's next? Allowing robots to marry? I won't have it!


Freaky thoughts come to mind. Robot partnership in a romantic sense? Creepy. What comes next? Robot love? Robot sex? Robot porn? Shocked I'm going to go lay down and ignore my thoughts before they materialize too well.


From what I've seen on the internet all that already exists in one form or another. Those Real Dolls are creepy enough as it is.
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rocklikeafool
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, here's the scoop. Robots will be manufactured by an evil corporation. This corporation will use them to take over the world. Then, one of the robots, having gained mastery over the other robots, will destroy the corporation and rule for itself. It will call itself Omnius and seek to conquer and rule all human life in the galaxy. Humans will become slaves.

There will also be cymeks, twisted hybrids of robots and humans. These creatures will exist as in humans only in that their brains are preserved, and in working order, in brain canisters. They can change robotic walker forms by fitting or removing their brain canisters from one form to the next.



WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE!!!
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duLapel
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rocklikeafool wrote:
...Robots will be manufactured by an evil corporation ... take over the world...Humans will become slaves.
... cymeks, twisted hybrids of robots and humans ... WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE!!!


I have to say that I don’t buy into the jaundiced view of humankind Frank Herbert and his son Brian paint in the
Dune series and all its prequels, Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, etc.
llamallama

Still RLaF, Smile a good reference for the evil Legion ex Machina model Gah! WTF?!
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Kevin
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe we will have robots, each of them capable of being good or evil.

When we have that, we will have a truly new and unique species.
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