Day 47: Robots are getting sentient

What if AI gets out of hand

3 min read    18 Jun 2017    

I realised, I should start noting down bits for standup man.

Confused between the choice to do open source (pyfish) and prepare for Intern interviews, I decide to do neither right now.

OK, the following para was written in MAy 2017, and in Feb 2018 it sounds SO WRONG. I’m keeping it as a reminder to how much your views change within an year.

Related to Rick and Morty’s pocket universe episode, is it morally wrong to make a whole universe and ask them to do your work ? Morty’s reply was: “It’s just slavery with extra steps”. But really, is it ? According to Wikipedia, Slavery is, in the strictest sense of the term, any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement and works without remuneration. If they do work for each other, there is renumeration in some form. Slavery allows some individuals to buy, sell or own other individuals. But really, would the term individual hold for something that I have created ? Say I make a bot, whose purpose is to pass butter [Oh my God, did you get the reference ? ]. Now this bot excels in passing butter. Now, if I were to give it some intelligence as to what time of the day I need butter, and also determine if I need butter by the mental/ physical state, the bot gains some kind of intelligence. Now the bot works for me. Is this slavery ? 10/10 times I would say this is not. Because, I CREATED the bot. I GAVE it intelligence. I ALLOW its existence. If someone comes over to my house, I’ll say this is my robot, hence I shall OWN it. This is not slavery though. Because even if I’m an denying an intelligent being from doing what it wants (say it malfunctions and gives me butter after my meals), I have the power to DESTROY it. IT should not be anyone else’s concern what I decide to do with this bot. So, when Rick decides to create a pocket universe to generate perpetual energy for his car, it’s not wrong. He is not infringing anyone’s right, because the people of the pocket universe have been GRANTED intelligence to carry out a task. And those who grant it also have the power to take it away. So, no Morty. You’re just a stupid dumbwit. This is NOT slavery, you idiot. I did not procure the beings of the pocketverse from someone else, I created them. This is not like the slavery practises in USA couple centuries ago, when White Lords procured black slaves to work for them. Yes, they gave the slaves education and opportunities they would not have received otherwise. But how the pocketverse is different is I do not buy or get the pocketverse people from someone else, I create them. If I create the bot, I own it. Now, I’m pretty sure when robots are a commonplace, and some idiots demand rights for robots, my writeup might be described as archaic, and really outdated. But dudes, am I really wrong? Is it wrong to throw away a pencil that I have made, after it’s usage has been expired [Assume safe disposal]? Let me know. However, one key thing is to treat it with respect and dignity that it deserves. If I do mass produce such butter passing bots, and someone else uses them, there is a line upto which they should use it. The owner can use it to pass a spoon if they wish, but the owner cannot, for instance, use the bot to pass potentially poison containing butter and blame the bot for the harm done. Altough the bot is intelligent, it was never intelligent enough to question whether to trust the owner or not, hence prosecution would be incorrect. There has to be a certain set of rules within which the owner, who is not the creator, can toy around with the bot.

Example: Microsoft created a twitter bot Tay, which learned from other users’ replies. Within 24 hours of existence, this happened.

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