Variable Ethics

As we begin to embed ethical principles into machines and software that can make decisions, we need to examine the use cases involved. The ethical codes needed in a powerful and dangerous machine that can easily cause life threatening damage are quite different from those needed in a software agent that makes grocery purchasing choices […]

Measuring “Well Being”

We often measure the success of processes with numbers that represent some state of the output or operation of the process. Financial organizations tend to use a “bottom line” number of profitability. But nation-states and some other groups have different purposes and need different measures. When the purpose of a group is to sustain or […]

How Ethics Works

How Ethics Works

Ethics is the consideration of what action is the best. This can be fairly straightforward when we only consider ourselves and there aren’t any significant unknown factors. But even under these restrictions, an ethical analysis can become complex. Consider this scenario: We can travel for one day to a location where there is one gallon […]

AI Is Our Only Salvation

Recent news stories have echoed worries that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a threat to us. In fact, AI is our only salvation. There are numerous existential threats on our immediate horizon, including: nuclear weapons, bio-genetic weapons, nanotechnology weapons, robotic weapons, and more possibilities. Nuclear and robotic weapons pale in comparison to bio-genetic weapons and nanotechnology […]

Detecting Intelligence

Intelligence is a complex concept and can be difficult to define. How we define it will determine how we go about attempting to detect it. If we use a simplistic definition that only includes computation speed and accuracy and amount of information, we will use those factors to determine whether or not we have detected […]

A Future Based on the Past

In order to predict what will happen in our future, we look at how we can describe our present, how we got there from the past, and then extend the trend lines we can observe into the future. One way to do that is to break out some categories of ethical concern. Ethics dictates that […]

Everyday Ethics

Ethics is the analysis of what is the best or most right thing to do when presented with options. We tend to think of this process as an abstract thinking exercise with little practical application in normal living. But that is not true. We are faced with decisions on a minute to minute basis in […]

Super Intelligent Ethics

Ethics is an analysis of the best course of action, of what is most right. Morals are general rules derived from our experience with ethical analysis. The following video suggests that we need to “translate ethics into a set of correct unambiguous rules” and also suggests that is not possible. Think about how we humans […]

Balance in Ethics

Individualism is a philosophy that emphasizes the individual. Collectivism is a philosophy that emphasizes the group. Ethics is the process of analyzing and determining what is the best action to be taken. We know that best actions often focus on the individual and often also include groups. The key is to find the correct balance. […]

Ethics and the Speed of Tech Improvement

Our technology is improving quickly and the rate of that improvement is steadily increasing. Technology always amplifies human effort. If the effort has been aligned ethically, the amplified end product will be amplified goodness. If the effort is not ethical, the amplified end product will be amplified badness or even evil. It seems like we […]