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Archive for the ‘ethics’ category

Aug 1, 2015

So — what is Ethereum; and, how does it relate to Law?

Posted by in categories: automation, big data, complex systems, disruptive technology, economics, ethics, governance, human trajectories, information science, law

Quoted: “Traditional law is a form of agreement. It is an agreement among people and their leaders as to how people should behave. There are also legal contracts between individuals. These contracts are a form of private law that applies to the participants. Both types of agreement are enforced by a government’s legal system.”

“Ethereum is both a digital currency and a programming language. But it is the combination of these ingredients that make it special. Since most agreements involve the exchange of economic value, or have economic consequences, we can implement whole categories of public and private law using Ethereum. An agreement involving transfer of value can be precisely defined and automatically enforced with the same script.”

“When viewed from the future, today’s current legal system seems downright primitive. We have law libraries — buildings filled with words that nobody reads and whose meaning is unclear, even to courts who enforce them arbitrarily. Our private contracts amount to vague personal promises and a mere hope they might be honored.

For the first time, Ethereum offers an alternative. A new kind of law.”

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Jul 9, 2015

Machine ethics: The robot’s dilemma — Boer Deng | Nature

Posted by in categories: ethics, robotics/AI

“Advocates argue that the rule-based approach has one major virtue: it is always clear why the machine makes the choice that it does, because its designers set the rules. That is a crucial concern for the US military, for which autonomous systems are a key strategic goal. Whether machines assist soldiers or carry out potentially lethal missions, ‘the last thing you want is to send an autonomous robot on a military mission and have it work out what ethical rules it should follow in the middle of things’.”

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Jul 7, 2015

Giant Battle Bots from Japan and the US Are Scheduled To Duel | TNW News

Posted by in categories: engineering, ethics, futurism, hardware, humor

SuperAmerican

Remember Pacific Rim? Giant battle droids kicking the hell out of monsters? Well, that’s (almost) becoming a reality: Giant bots built in Japan and America are set to go head-to-head in combat.

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Jun 29, 2015

No, an AI Did Not Just “Lash Out” at Its Human Programmer

Posted by in categories: ethics, neuroscience, robotics/AI

A slew of articles are claiming that an “exasperated” artificial intelligence snapped at its programmer during a conversation about morality and ethics. Sadly, it’s another example of the media overselling the capabilities of simple chatbots.

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Jun 23, 2015

Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction | Science Advances

Posted by in categories: education, environmental, ethics, governance, law enforcement, science, security

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“The evidence is incontrovertible that recent extinction rates are unprecedented in human history and highly unusual in Earth’s history. Our analysis emphasizes that our global society has started to destroy species of other organisms at an accelerating rate, initiating a mass extinction episode unparalleled for 65 million years. If the currently elevated extinction pace is allowed to continue, humans will soon (in as little as three human lifetimes) be deprived of many biodiversity benefits.”

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Jun 21, 2015

What are our rights and duties towards alien life? — Lizzie Wade | AEON

Posted by in categories: alien life, ethics, law, policy

http://cdn-imgs-mag.aeon.co/images/2015/06/wade-42-68213815-1024x641.jpg

“The ethics of encountering non-sentient alien life in our solar systems boils down to a core dilemma, says Waller. ‘Is it about conservation and preservation? Or is it about our needs, wants, and desires?’ On Earth, natural-resource grabs have a history of bringing out the worst in us as a species…There’s plenty of reason to believe other planets will be chock-full of resources we’d like to exploit, even if the life forms are microbial – perhaps especially if they’re microbial.” Read more

Jun 17, 2015

What sins of the future are you committing right now? — By David J. Hill SingularityHub

Posted by in categories: ethics, robotics/AI, time travel

Odds are you’re a decent, upstanding person. You abide by the laws, pay taxes, and don’t rock the boat. You value security but not at the expense of privacy. Like the majority of people around you, you’re driven by self interest but not to the detriment of others. And if someone is clearly in need, you’ll try to help them, if you feel you can make a difference.

In other words, you’re a moral human being…or so you think. Read more

Jun 16, 2015

Esther Perel: Sex, Stability, and Self-Fulfillment

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, futurism, human trajectories, media & arts, philosophy

In the Galactic Public Archives film Click Here for Happiness Prof. Yair Amichai-Hamburger contends that even though technology allows us to connect with one another in unprecedented ways, “loneliness is the disease of the 21st century.” From Hamburger’s perspective, communication technology (coupled with human nature) tempts us to mistake superficial connections for meaningful ones, urges us to value quantity over quality. It creates new opportunities for experiencing the best of what it means to be human, but often our interaction with technology suggests something more akin to an addict on a new drug.

Therapist and author Esther Perel uses this film to explore our ‘existential aloneness’ through a different lens. Much as technology continues to open new doors for connection, the rapid cultural changes of the past 100 years allow us to choose the sort of life we wish to live. We make our most important connections by choice instead of having them mandated to us by tradition. But as is the case with technology, sometimes it isn’t clear if we are primed to use these new opportunities to build more fulfilling lives or simply to frustrate ourselves, building a world where more people feel alone.

Has our increased valuing of independence and self-fulfillment created a fatal conflict with the romantic ideal of ‘the couple?’ Can we have it all or do we need to choose between freedom and belonging? Perel isn’t sure that we can have it all, but she thinks that we can carve out a path that delivers more to more of us than would a retreat into tradition. “Let’s not romanticize the past. I don’t think that the fate of women in those marriages was particularly glorious. It seems that quite a few people were waiting to get out.” Perel argues that the only way that the future of ‘the couple’ can be navigated satisfactorily is if we continue to build upon the social progress of the past century. “You need two people who have equal power to have this communication, or to have this negotiation even able to take place without it being a power maneuver. If it doesn’t happen between two emancipated people it [becomes] a power system, which it was throughout history.”

What do you hope to build in a relationship? What connections do you value? What are your boundaries?

Jun 15, 2015

It is Unethical Not to Use Genetic Engineering

Posted by in categories: ethics, genetics, health, robotics/AI, space

When I hear that the conversation is about an ethical problem I anticipate that right now the people are going to put everything upside down and end with common sense. Appealing to ethics has always been the weapon of conservatism, the last resort of imbecility.

How does it work? At the beginning you have some ideas, but in the end it’s always a “no”. The person speaking on the behalf of ethics or bioethics is always against the progress, because he or she is being based on their own conjectures. What if the GMO foods will crawl out of the garden beds and eat us all? What if there will be inequality when some will use genetic engineering for their kids and some won’t? Let’s then close down the schools and universities – the main source of inequality. What if some will get the education and other won’t?

That’s exactly the position that ‪Elon Musk took by fearing the advances in genetic engineering. Well, first of all, there already is plenty of inequality. It is mediated by social system, limited resources and genetic diversity. First of all, why should we strive for total equality? More precisely, why does the plank of equality has to be based on a low intellectual level? How bad is a world where the majority of people are scientists? How bad is a world where people live thousands of years and explore deep space? It’s actually genetic engineering that gives us these chances. From the ‪#‎ethics‬ point of view things are visa versa. It’s refusing the very possibility of helping people is a terrible deed. Let’s not improve a person, because if we do what if this person becomes better than everybody else? Let’s not treat this person, because if we do he might live longer than everybody else? Isn’t this complete nonsense?

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Jun 12, 2015

Couples, Culture and Sex: Who is Esther Perel?

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, futurism, human trajectories, media & arts, philosophy

What do you hope to find in a relationship? Security or freedom? Adventure or Intimacy? Do you want the connections in your life to serve as aides on your personal journey or do you want to feel you belong to a larger endeavor?

The future is often discussed in regard to technology, but when we look towards our personal futures we tend to think not of gizmos but of relationships. We think of the connections we want to build and experience, and the things that we wish to give the world in return. We think about how the world could be a better place for ourselves as well as those around us. The change we envision is not technological; rather it reflects what we value. In this film, therapist and author Esther Perel argues that the patterns in which we connect, and the conventions that guide how we couple present a window into what our culture really values.

When Perel looks at the ways in which we connect in early the 21st century she sees contradictions. The rapid technological and social shifts of the previous centuries have created conflicts not only within our cultures but also in the hopes and desires of the individual. She finds us looking with one eye to the secure and charted path that the norms of the past seem to offer us. With the other eye we look to the opportunities and fluid freedoms that now seem open to us. Can we coherently (and satisfactorily) reconcile these desires?

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