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Old 12-07-2012, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Ensign Steve waxes philosophical on the Singularity, a thrad by Ensign Steve

Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
Just a note, too, that we blew past the First Law of Robotics a long, long time ago. I'm talking to you, But.

Retrofitting the First Law of Robotics - Transcript - Software Freedom Law Center

There, of course, from the beginning, the assumption was that robots would be humanoid. And as it turns out, they’re not. We do after all live commensally with robots now, we do, just as they expected. But the robots we live with don’t have hands and feet, they don’t carry trays of drinks, and they don’t push the vacuum cleaner. At the edge condition, they are the vacuum cleaner. But most of the time, we’re their hands and feet. We embody them. We carry them around with us. They see everything we see, they hear everything we hear, they’re constantly aware of our location, position, velocity, and intention. They mediate our searches, that is to say they know our plans, they consider our dreams, they understand our lives, they even take our questions — like “how do I send flowers to my girlfriend” — transmit them to a great big database in california, and return us answers offered by the helpful wizard behind the curtain.

Who of course is keeping track. These are our robots, and we have everything we ever expected to have from them, except the first law of robotics. You remember how that went right? Deep in the design of the positronic intelligence that made the robot were the laws that governed the ethical boundary between what could and could not be done with androids. The first law, the first law, the one that everything else had to be deduced from was that no robot may ever injure a human being. Robots must take orders from their human owners, except where those orders involve harming a human being. That was assumed to be the principal out of which at the root, down by the NAND gates of the artificial neurophysiology of robot brains, down there where the simplest idea is, you remember for Descartes, it was “cogito ergo sum”, for the robot it was “no robot must ever harm a human being”. We are living commensally with robots but we have no first law of robotics in them, they hurt human beings everyday. Everywhere.

Those injuries range from the trivial to the fatal, to the cosmic. Of course, they’re helping people to charge you more. That’s trivial, right? They’re letting other people know when you need everything from a hamburger to a sexual interaction to a house mortgage, and of course the people on the other end are the repeat players whose calculations about just how much you need, whatever it is, and just how much you’ll pay for it, are being built by the data mining of all the data about everybody that everybody is collecting through the robots.
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