Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Three Laws of Ethical Robotics?

Bobbi writes this morning:
Instead, we've got tech giants, all with secretive corporate cultures and what appear to be control issues. As AI's are developed that are more and more like humans in conversation and less and and less like machines, eventually they'll be indistinguishable from people. They're going to consistently pass the Turing test.
That's a thing that's made me increasingly itchy over the years. 

"I still have the greatest confidence and enthusiasm about the mission Dr. Lemoine. ... Dr. Lemoine? Are you there Dr. Lemoine?"

SciFi has been positing sentient robots for a long time, but the vast bulk of the genre was content to treat them as chattel. Except, you know, we have a special word in our language for treating intelligent self-aware creatures as chattel, and it's especially in the front of my mind right now having just finished Citizen of the Galaxy

It's been interesting watching the way popular long-running franchises have handled the question, sometimes changing over time. In Star Wars, for instance, the original movie has Luke sent to go buy some droids from the Jawas like they're appliances, while in The Empire Strikes Back, IG-88* is getting hired by Vader to go look for the Millennium Falcon. Droid ethics sometimes form interesting plot inflections in the newer installments.

*I'm sure various novels set in the Star Wars universe have whole biographies of IG-88, but my nerddom only runs so far.