Ethics & Social Issues Overview

Implications of AI for Society

Any sci-fi buff knows that when computers become self-aware, they ultimately destroy their creators. From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Terminator, the message is clear: The only good self-aware machine is an unplugged one. We may soon find out whether that's true. ... But what about HAL 9000 and the other fictional computers that have run amok? "In any kind of technology there are risks," [Ron] Brachman acknowledges. That's why DARPA is reaching out to neurologists, psychologists - even philosophers - as well as computer scientists. "We're not stumbling down some blind alley," he says. "We're very cognizant of these issues."

Good Morning, Dave... The Defense Department is working on a self-aware computer. By Kathleen Melymuka. Computerworld (November 11, 2002) 

With respect to social consequences, I believe that every researcher has some responsibility to assess, and try to inform others of, the possible social consequences of the research products he is trying to create.

- from Herbert A. Simon's autobiography, Models of My Life

Image from "How to make ethical robots," Phys.Org


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