Will artificial intelligence (AI) threaten us? Is autonomous driving a curse or blessing? Do we need a machine ethic?
The voices are getting louder and more critical when technical uncharted territory is reached.
Fear, ignorance. What is missing in the rapid changing world of technology is often the time to re-sort the many news and backgrounds.
On occasion, at some point we want to catch up, pursue the byways away from the current, try different perspectives and make nuances audible.
Out of this fear, they answer with regulation.
Regulations are usually a hindrance in growing fields because limits and possibilities must be explored. Not just could, MUST. Only from these experiences qualified use cases, fine adjustment of visions and solutions can be developed.
Just like from the connected to the autonomous car. The self-driving car experiences an almost miraculous transformation: From a bold idea that nerds have been working on at Google, to a vision for future mobility.
The debate about self-driving cars made a philosophical thought experiment popular: the switchman or trolley problem. It deals with the choice between two morally questionable actions.
Who should be knocked down by the car in an emergency? Instead of the child better an adult? Can a machine make ethical decisions? The man or the child – or rather sacrifice myself?
If a car was programmed to sacrifice the driver in case of doubt, who would want to drive it? If it was always knocking down the people to protect its owner, what kind of morality would that be?
An important point is hidden and NOT discussed: if the technology is used correctly, this dubious choice does not arise. Car2car communication, traffic prediction, comprehensive road sensor technology will enable a smooth process. Error rates will be minimal. But even then it is clear that there will always be traffic deaths.
To solve this, the most critical component must be taken out of the equation, the human.
Only when the person is taken out, the machine itself can and must take over. For this purpose, more emphasis is placed on AI or what is referred to be one. At the moment we do not have real Artificial Intelligence, just very sophisticated statistics and components that map the disciplines of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).
But again, voices are saying that AI can be a threat to humanity. Danger, danger!
The social risks are highlighted and the worst is accepted.
Yes, AI has the potential to turn entire economies on its head. Or the technique could be abused for autonomous weapons systems and suppression of humans.
Actually like any other tool. Not good, not bad. What WE make of it matters.
This is exactly where the opportunity lies, to do the right thing and maximize the social benefits.
Progress does not need rules as long as it is in progress.
We can use genetic engineering to heal diseases – or we can create monsters. But that does not mean that one should stop such developments. Only the application of such technologies needs clear rules.
Not the rules of the jungle, but democratic rules, without hindrance or favor, fair and transparent rules.
Enormous opportunities – enormous risks!
For regulation is usually cried by poorly informed or own goals persecuting persons and partially deliberately twisted arguments to build up a threat scenario. In the worst case, it ends in overregulation. It does not matter to these people that this creates lasting mistrust and hinders development.
Despite all critical voices, hope prevails that the current technological developments will help humanity to solve its most pressing problems. For this, it is necessary that humanity catches up for its development, the mental maturity to deal responsibly with the technology.
Technology should do what never has been done before, to make life better.
Progress can’t be stopped and refusal is no option. Progress has no direction.
As innovators, technology enthusiasts, decision makers, we have a commitment to make our lives easier, not make it harder for us. Personally, I welcome any technology that brings me to the next level.
We have the power to shape the future, we just need enlightenment and courage to evaluate these uncertainties.