It is inevitable that Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has been rapidly advancing throughout the years. Although very beneficial to human society, there are a lot of threats and risks that AI imposes on humanity. How far is too far when on the topic of how advanced this technology should be and how much freedom it receives? We look to answer this question while analyzing five different situations that highlight advantages and disadvantages of such technology in the following text.
When it comes to Artificial intelligence taking over certain aspects of human life such as working in factories, self-driving cars, etc., many ethical questions arise because many people don’t know who to place the blame on when a robot makes a mistake. One example situation is when a human jumps over a fence to try to repair a robot but then another robot makes a mistake and ends up pinning the human to the wall and eventually killing him, when certain security protocols were in place to prevent a situation like this from happening. Overall, it was decided that it was the worker’s fault for jumping over the fence to try to resolve the malfunctioning robot when he should have just went through the gate and entered that way which would have shut off all the robots. However, the robots should have also been programmed with more emergency protocols maybe such as a proximity detector or a heat sensor to cover a wider range of possibilities where emergencies like this one could happen. As we head into the future, a looming question remains: who is to blame in the event of human death caused by artificial intelligence mistakes?
On the other hand, artificial intelligence technology is also widely used across search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. These engines implement a sorting algorithm that rank search results in a certain order. Such sorting algorithm is usually hidden from the public. But should they be? What would be the implications of exposing the algorithm to the public? On the bright side, making such algorithm open source could allow the public to help improve the algorithm so that everyone can easily find what they are looking for. This would also boost the competition between huge search engines as the differences between each of them are now revealed. To the advertising companies, seeing the implementation of the algorithm will allow them to develop better strategies on advertising through search results. However, this can also hurt the advertising industry because the techniques are now revealed to the public, which is the audience of the advertisements. Furthermore, exposing this algorithm also means that it can be stolen by other organizations and that hackers can possibly find its vulnerabilities and take advantage over it.
While still focusing on the virtual applications of AI, video games can also use AI to enhance the player’s experience and evolve video games into a whole new level of technology. In the future, it is possible that the video games we play today could be created with characters that have real human emotions and a sense of awareness. This brings up the question of what considerations should be made when the gaming company goes out of business and the game needs to be permanently shut off. Players of the game can potentially develop high level relationships with the characters and if the game were to be shut off, the human player would have no say in losing their friend. It could be argued that because the characters have a human level of understanding, it would be immoral to shut off the game which essentially would be killing them. Conversely, these characters are not actually alive and because of their limited range of emotions, they aren’t comparable to humans. Everyone knows when starting a game that it is not real life and there is always a risk of the game being shut off. It would be immoral to continue funding a game when real people are suffering due to the loss of money. In the next few years as new human like AI technology is developed, opinions on what rights they have may change as the technology become a more integral part of our lives.
As seen from the situations mentioned above, AI can be applied to many different areas of technology and can develop with human-like features. If human-like features are present within artificial intelligence should they receive the same rights as actual humans? When we think of human rights, there is usually no black and white answer for decades. Adding robots or machines into the mix makes it just as complicated. Each type of human right all circles around the same questions such as, “do robots have feelings?” Based on what the information gathered in class, it is a human’s responsibility to design computers or machines to perform various functions and those tasks only. A right to life is an interesting question, however how long is a life span for a robot? There is no definite answer. Humans should have ultimate control because that is what mother nature has given us. All professionals hold similar responsibilities such as safety and efficiency. Because mother nature has control over biology, humans should have control over technology. As for freedom of torture, the answer is also no. If we as a society potentially design robots to do military work, it should not have emotional or physical pain to begin with. The right to trial is another complex question because the actions of the robot should reflect the creator. For example, if a robot accidentally lights a factory on fire, the creator should be held responsible because there may have been a preventable glitch of malfunction. Trial in general was created by humans because we make mistakes and must be held accountable. This tradition should continue with strictly humans because there has not been any reliable evidence yet that robots share identical traits as humans, such as guilt or pain.
If in seventeen years intelligent robots have evolved to the point that they are able to move and act freely in society, there would most likely be various questions concerning how certain human rights would apply to them. For instance, some of the rights would include the rights to bear arms, to sexual orientation, to reproduce, and to work. Beginning with the right to bear arms, it was decided that in this hypothetical situation, robots should never be allowed to possess weapons unless it is deemed completely necessary for them to use them for military purposes. Even then, the robots should be tested extensively before even being permitted to hold a weapon in combat. Moving on to the right to sexual orientation, it was determined that like all humans, robots should be able to choose what they want to be. As for reproductive rights, assuming the robots are even able to reproduce, it was decided that heavier restrictions should be placed on them because not only could their reproductive abilities potentially drive engineers out of the working industry, but they could also lead to humans ultimately being outnumbered and taken over by robots. Finally, concluding with the right to work, the general consensus was that although they should eventually be incorporated into the workforce, they should also be extensively tested before going on to do so, just as for the right to bear arms.
Of paramount importance, artificial intelligence does in fact have a substantial amount of advantages; however, disadvantages for this type of technology are also present. Due to AI being simply machines and/or computer programs that act like humans, they do not deserve the same rights that humans poses. In addition, if any crimes or life threatening accidents were to occur due to such technology, the creator should hold full responsibility as they are in control of how these machines and/or programs operate.