Monday’s Musings: Want AI Ethics? Learn From These Four Movies/TV Shows!

Published on December 3, 2017 by R "Ray" Wang

The Convergence of Technology, Society, And AI Ethics Is Already Among Us

Over the past year, almost every conversation on artificial intelligence involved a discussion on ethics, humanity, and policy.  Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  In this case, one can look to Hollywood for a few good suggestions to ponder.  Four AI geek classics bring out unique points to consider in any AI ethics conversation:

1. The Matrix (1999) Shows Why Humans Are Different

The Matrix raises many philosophical points from perceptions of reality.  For instance, has a general artificial intelligence fully manipulated humanity? Does morality exists in a dreamed state?  As with Descartes’ meditations, what ethics apply when reality is blurred?  Understanding that humanity has the capability to break the rules and create new rules drives a key design point in considering design of general artificial intelligence.

2. Assassin’s Creed (2016) Highlights The Heart Of Humanity – Free Will


Callum Lynch’s gains memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha and trains as a Master Assassin before taking on the secret Templar society.  The Assassins upheld the extremity of free will while the Templars represent determinism.  The Templars advocate a utopian world where control and the perfection of humanity is in a state of order and discipline at the expense of free will.  While the real world must balance free will and determinism, if society enables a general purpose artificial intelligence go too far and take away free will, the essence of humanity will vanquish.

3. Ghost In The Shell Addresses Security Required For Augmented Humanity, Cybernetics, And AI Convergence


Ghost in the shell shows a world where robotics, computer technology, and bio medical engineering have enabled humanity to not only control augmented prostheses and cyberbrains.  Those with cyberbrains face a risk where cyberhackers can control their unwilling victims.  The movie highlights the societal implications of digitization and unchecked control as human augmentation goes mainstream.

4. Person of Interest Explores The Implications Of Trading Privacy For Security, Convenience, And Order With AI


The block buster five season series explores the creation of a general purpose AI designed to protect the post 9/11 world.   Thee series explores the trading of privacy for convenience, security, and order and what happens when an AI is unleashed on the world where humans are irrelevant.

The Bottom Line: There Will Be No Universal Ethics For AI But Time Is Of The Essence

Ethics reflects values humanity has placed on itself as a rules of engagement.  Applying a universal set of ethics will be a fools errand.  However the discussion of what contextual attributes, values, biases, and controls must be held in a public forum in order to find the right balance for humanity and machine to co-exist.

Time is of the essence.  Our smartest minds must work on this soon and establish AI Ethics the same way society approached bio medical ethics.

 

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Your POV.

Ready to roll out your plans for AI?  Do you understand the business model implications?  Who will you partner with for AI?  What are the ethical considerations that must be addressed?  What’s your favorite show or movie htat addresses AI ethics? Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationR (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org.

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