Smarter = Better?
The folks at the Singularity Institute, a nonprofit watchdog group, think you should. They have taken responsibility for preparing the world for the "Singularity"; the moment when we develop greater-than-human artificial intelligence. Among their efforts is
3 Laws Unsafe, a web-based forum for discussion of the 3 laws that the "I, Robot" robotic intelligence are based upon:
1) A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2)A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3)A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
The articles on the site, written by researchers and advocates from around the world cover everything from how laws are translated into action, to how machines and devices can benefit from different levels of decision making skills.
Think about this for a second. Right now we definitely have the technology to allow even the most common devices, like Televisions, and Car seats remember user preferences. Mercedes had a concept a few years back who's seat tried to protect you in the event of a crash. It's only a matter of time before computer processing power becomes cheap enough to use in these devices to make more complex decisions. And when this happens, intelligence, even rudimentary will be designed like any other product feature. Understanding human decision making will certainly help in this area, but the kind of ethical discussion going on at this site will be equally important.
If you're interested in this stuff, definitely check out I, Robot
And, for some other information on human and artificial intelligence, take a look at these:
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, a discussion of human intelligence. This book explores the cognitive processes of the Math, Art, and Music of these great workers.
The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, covers lots of possibilities that might arise when this occurs. Written by Ray Kurzweil, the guy behind Kurzweilai.net, it's a great primer on the potential, and problems with AI.
Copyright 2004-2006 Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team