A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
A Future with Artificial Intelligence
It is easy to imagine employing Asimov’s Laws of Robotics to artificial intelligence. However, in Asimov’s vision, those robots walked among the citizens of Earth –or other places. But what about AI’s that don’t have bodies? What about AI’s that simply live on computers? The reality of AI in our future will surely happen in digital space before it ever does in a mechanical robot body. Without Asimov’s laws in place, what happens then?
Algorithms Make Decisions for You
We already have non-sentient candidates out there right now. We currently use algorithms that search the Internet for data, social media algorithms that decide who you will talk to and who you won’t, and search engine bots that decide if websites are worthy or not.
Algorithms Don’t Follow Asimov’s Laws
When you consider algorithms as a form of AI and lay them up against Asimov’s laws of robotics, you quickly get the idea that those algorithms do not follow those laws. In fact, another reality is swift to arrive. Algorithms are designed to profit their creators. When you view algorithms as AIs, they seem to behave like minions.
Fortunately, algorithms mimic artificial intelligence without actually achieving it, at least not yet. However, this blog is meant not to label algorithms as AI. Rather it is to point out that many algorithms out there, especially the most well-known ones, do not follow laws akin to Asimov’s. Their makers have designed them to maximize profits. If such algorithms ever gained self-awareness and sentience, they would believe the world to be little more than a great race to serve better advertisements. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire such an AI as a salesperson –eh, sales-bot?
Robots with Morality Issues
What would happen to the whole of the Internet, if the functions, scripts, algorithms, bots, spiders, et al, were confined to and governed by Asimov’s laws of robotics? While serving up more relevant ads would surely not harm anyone, where would that AI draw the line on spying and prying into personal data? Delivering better search results is a service aimed at the greater good of the greater number, but what about small businesses who fail from lack of exposure? An AI might consider that harm, of a sort. It doesn’t take much shaking of that tree before a robot with morality issues falls out the branches.
I suppose some day we might try such an experiment. We will first need to finish construction on the councilor robots, of course, while creating a congressional bill for AI health coverage parity.
Are Greedy Robots in Our Future?
Fictional accounts of the takeover of Earth by artificial intelligence often display an aggressive AI that destroys mankind. However, unless we change things, that AI may be far more interested in taking over the economy. Somewhere along the line, something akin to Asimov’s laws of robotics will need to appear. Or, perhaps, in the future suggested here, the 1% would no longer include humans.
In the comments below, answer the question;
What would happen to the whole of the Internet, if the functions, scripts, algorithms, bots, spiders, et al, were confined to and governed by Asimov’s laws of robotics?