Saturday Evening Links

Below are a few links for your reading pleasure this weekend.

Researcher Believes 3D Printing May Lead to the Creation of Superhuman Organs Providing Humans with New Abilities: “This God-like ability will be made possible thanks in part to the latest breakthroughs in bioprinting. If companies and researchers are coming close to having the ability to 3D print and implant entire organs, then why wouldn’t it be possible to create our own unique organs, which provide us with superhuman abilities?”

Future perfect: how the Victorians invented the future: “It was only around the beginning of the 1800s, as new attitudes towards progress, shaped by the relationship between technology and society, started coming together, that people started thinking about the future as a different place, or an undiscovered country – an idea that seems so familiar to us now that we often forget how peculiar it actually is.”

Robotic Rape and Robotic Child Sexual Abuse: Should they be criminalised? Paper by John Danaher: “Soon there will be sex robots. The creation of such devices raises a host of social, legal and ethical questions. In this article, I focus in on one of them. What if these sex robots are deliberately designed and used to replicate acts of rape and child sexual abuse? Should the creation and use of such robots be criminalised, even if no person is harmed by the acts performed? I offer an argument for thinking that they should be.” (Link to article provided.)

Enthusiasts and Skeptics Debate Artificial Intelligence: “… the Singularitarians’ belief that we’re biological machines on the verge of evolving into not entirely biological super-machines has a distinctly religious fervor and certainty. ‘I think we are going to start to interconnect as a human species in a fashion that is intimate and magical,’ Diamandis told me. ‘What I would imagine in the future is a meta-intelligence where we are all connected by the Internet [and] achieve a new level of sentience. . . . Your readers need to understand: It’s not stoppable. It doesn’t matter what they want. It doesn’t matter how they feel.'”

Artificial Intelligence Isn’t a Threat—Yet: “The trouble is, nobody yet knows what that oversight should consist of. Though AI poses no immediate existential threat, nobody in the private sector or government has a long-term solution to its potential dangers. Until we have some mechanism for guaranteeing that machines never try to replace us, or relegate us to zoos, we should take the problem of AI risk seriously.”

Is it okay to torture or murder a robot?: “What’s clear is that there is a spectrum of “aliveness” in robots, from basic simulations of cute animal behaviour, to future robots that acquire a sense of suffering. But as Darling’s Pleo dinosaur experiment suggested, it doesn’t take much to trigger an emotional response in us. The question is whether we can – or should – define the line beyond which cruelty to these machines is unacceptable. Where does the line lie for you? If a robot cries out in pain, or begs for mercy? If it believes it is hurting? If it bleeds?”

A couple of housekeeping notes. Reading Frankenstein posts will resume at the start of next week. Also, you may have noticed that an Index for the blog is in progress. I’ve always wanted to find a way to make older posts more accessible, so I’ve settled on an selective index for People and Topics. You can check it out by clicking the “Index” tab above.


6 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Links

  1. I would argue that it’s wrong to torture a robot, not because the robot is somehow too alive, it remains a thing that doesn’t feel no matter how convincing the simulation, but because the harm in torture is two-fold: the harm done to the victim and the harm done to the person inflicting it. So even though there’s no person to be harming in that scenario (robots are not yet people in any meaningful sense of the word), it does not do good for the human psyche to inflict suffering on something that is alive or gives the appearance of being alive.

  2. Just horrific… that type of thinking, it’s all a lack of experience and care. I think it’s best to consider whether we would want an AI playing with our son or daughter…. remember it is a machine, what do you want it to do? what can you not do? what do most machines do? What is the relationship between an AI and a bunny rabbit a dolphin or a Yew tree that has been alive for 5,000 years?

    Could there ever be a relationship between affection and thought? between love and that which is a construct of the past? Surely love must direct thought, not the other way around!

    Progress has to be in alignment with spiritual growth. If one area of mankind gets carried away on a wave then their are consequences for all of us.

    The military/chemical/pharmaceutical industry obviously already have “AI”, but they would like to roll it out on a larger more public scale. If they were to do that straight away there would be an immediate backlash. So I think the best way is to start a debate and to polarise the collective consciousness, which is what happens when you start a debate with the public.

    That will be stopped, for we are all around them this time, love, affection, care and responsibility will play a much stronger role now in the choices we all make, carefully we can move forward with not robots! but technologies that are way beyond that…. we just needed to grow up a little bit.

    AI is not inevitable, just like world war 3 is not inevitable, on the contrary things look bright and brilliant going forward but not in the “survival of the fittest crew”, bringing AI forward.

    Maybe, just maybe this time we will see things more clearly and choose differently…..

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