The rise of AI poses difficult ethical questions that need answering
Artificial intelligence technology has been developing at such an incredible rate the past few years that the industry has reached a tipping point. Artificial intelligence has already become a part of our day-to-day lives whether we realize it or not and soon, it’s going to be playing an even bigger role. The field of artificial intelligence is so revolutionary that it will impact society in untold ways. Because this AI revolution has crept up on us so quickly, governments, and the world at large are wholly unprepared to incorporate the technology into society.
The introduction of AI into society will undoubtedly raise certain ethical issues that no one is even considering and since it will take time to explore these issues and find ways to solve them, we need to start now.
So urgent is this need that the Obama administration felt the need to release a 60-page report about preparing for a future with artificial intelligence technology even though the administration is on its way out. Here are just a couple examples of ethical issues that must be considered.
Using robots for sex
There already exists humanoid robots that can detect human emotions by recognizing facial cues and certain vocal tones. One artificial intelligence company from Japan that creates such a robot stipulates in their contract that customers may not use the robot for sex. In very short order, the robot sex industry could take the world by storm and since governments aren’t even thinking about this issue, there are no laws in place that would address it.
Lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS)
If the implication of sex robots is bad, the possibility for AI to be turned into a weapon is far worse. Already technology has allowed governments to create terribly efficient killing machines. Apply artificial intelligence to existing weapons systems and you have an even more dangerous weapon which—though it may be used for good as a deterrent for aggressive acts by foreign enemies—could also be used for evil in the wrong hands.
Keeping AI ethical
For now, there are no laws that address the issue of the ethics of AI and it is up to each individual artificial intelligence company to make rules about the products they’re creating. That’s going to have to change moving forward.
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