Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

CategoryEthics

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla’s Cybertruck Runs on … Hype?

When planning for the future, Tesla should maybe think reality, not Mad Max

The steel ball thrown at the unbreakable window broke the glass. Twice. Unfortunately, Musk had to spend the rest of the demo with a damaged car in the background.

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Man trying to whistle

Google’s Secret Health Data Grab: The Whistleblower Talks

This is the fourth whistleblower in the last eighteen months

“The decision came to me slowly, creeping on me through my day-to-day work,” we are told, until it came down to “how could I say nothing?”

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Big brother electronic eye concept, technologies for the global surveillance, security of computer systems and networks

Can a Big Data Program Be Society’s Crystal Ball?

Can a program with enough data on all of us predict our future?

Even fans admit that, if the program works, bad actors can use it just as easily as New Scientist’s virtuecrats.

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Autonomous cars on a road with visible connection

Self-Driving Cars: Florida Lawmakers Speed Through Caution Signs

Legislation seems fuzzy about who accepts responsibility when things go wrong with autonomous vehicles

I believe that most autonomous vehicle manufacturers will exercise an abundance of caution. But if laws are fuzzy, reckless manufacturers may escape blame and innocent riders, drivers, and pedestrians will pay for the resultant mayhem.

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Blc and white v diversity Ryoji Iwata at Unsplash 1513682121497-80211f36a7d3

Has AI been racist?

AI is, left to itself, inherently unthinking, which can result in insensitivity and bias

Just any available data swatched into systems may embody prejudices that only become evident in use.

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White cyborg finger about to touch human finger 3D rendering

The Three Laws of Robotics Have Failed the Robots

Almost no one out there thinks that Isaac Asimov's Three Laws could work for truly intelligent AI
Prolific science and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov (1920–1992) developed the Three Laws of Robotics, in the hope of guarding against potentially dangerous artificial intelligence. Jonathan Bartlett, Brendan Dixon, and Eric Holloway discuss what went wrong. Read More ›
China Button

The Unadvertised Cost of Doing Business with China

It’s a big market, with one Big Player, and some strange rules
In China, censorship includes democracy, human rights, sex, George Orwell’s 1984, and Winnie-the-Pooh (because the stuffed literary bear has been compared by some Chinese bloggers to their President). Such censorship, say many, minimizes the value of the internet. Read More ›
Joyful preteen lady beaming while embracing human like root

Tell Kids the Robot Is “It,” Not “He”

Teaching children to understand AI and robotics is part of a good education today

We are not truly likely to be ruled by AI overlords (as opposed to powerful people using AI. But even doubtful predictions may be self-fulfilling if enough impressionable people come to believe them. Children, for example. We adults are aware of the limitations of AI. But if we talk about AI devices as if they were people, children—who often imbue even stuffed toys with complex personalities—may be easily confused. Sue Shellenbarger, Work & Family columnist at The Wall Street Journal, warns that already, “Many children think robots are smarter than humans or imbue them with magical powers.” While she admits that the “long-term consequences” are still unclear, “an expanding body of research” suggests we need to train children to draw Read More ›

concept of self-driving car

Will Industry Pressure Loosen Self-Driving Car Tests?

Right now, the regulatory agency is under pressure to accept the industry’s “softball” testing suggestions
The regulatory agency (NHTSA) needs to adapt. But trusting technical documentation alone or only testing already sold vehicles is grossly insufficient. Technical documentation is what engineers think should happen; it is not the future. And testing sold vehicles creates an incentive to skimp on tests. Read More ›
Urban traffic Pexels

Are self-driving cars really safer?

A former Uber executive says no. Before we throw away the Driver’s Handbook…
Current claims that self-driving cars are safer are hype, not measurement. Meanwhile, Congress is expected to push for legislation next month to pave the way for widespread use of self-driving vehicles without a consensus on safety standards. Read More ›
Superior Artificial Intelligence Wining Chess Concept

Confirmed: DeepMind’s Deepest Mind Is on Leave

The chess champ computer system just never made money
Co-founder Mustafa Suleyman is a philosopher and social justice activist who hoped to use the technology for fundamental transformations. But his AI ethics board lasted about seven days at Google. Read More ›
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Crosswalk with fake car and pedestrians

Does a Western Bias Affect Self-Driving Cars?

How a driver is expected to act varies by culture
Self-driving cars (autonomous vehicles) will need to adapt to different rules and we will, very likely, need to change those rules to make the vehicles work. Read More ›
Three managers in city, social network

Should Engineers Think Like Computers?

To limit ourselves to the symbolic logic that computers can do is to leave our humanity behind
Symbolic logic says nothing about the truth or reality of what you give it. To understand what things really are, you have to get outside the pristine mathematical structure of symbolic logic and embrace what Prof. Kreeft calls Socratic logic. Read More ›
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Chain link fence obscuring brake lights

When High Tech Must Be Kept Secret

Universities that do national defence research try to manage the tension between intellectual freedom and national security

A plasma physics professor who interpreted the “fundamental research exception” too loosely ended up in jail.

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charles-6OsSbJ8urao-unsplash

Chinese Technocracy Surges Ahead with AI Surveillance

So what do the reservations expressed, about “the soul” and “love,” really mean?

Both big tech entrepreneurs Kai-Fu Lee and Jack Ma seem to believe in souls but do not believe that souls can be trusted with freedom, the way governments can.

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Close up of a Chimpanzee-family (mother and her two kids)

Researchers: Apes Are Just Like Us!

And we’re not doing the right things to make them start behaving that way…

In 2011, we were told in Smithsonian Magazine, “‘Talking’ apes are not just the stuff of science fiction; scientists have taught many apes to use some semblance of language.” Have they? If so, why has it all subsided? What happened?

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Self driving car on a road. Autonomous vehicle. Inside view.

Elon Musk: You Are Liable for My Malfunctioning Code!

He hopes to put the blame for self-driving mishaps in parking lots on customers

At Mind Matters News, we have criticized his approach on numerous grounds. One problem that keeps getting left out is, who assumes moral responsibility and legal liability for self-driving vehicles?

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Uneasy senior woman praying for sick man

New Evidence That Some Comatose People Really Do Understand

Researchers found mental activity in response to verbal commands even in some “completely unresponsive” patients

There is growing evidence that many comatose patients are quite aware of what is going on around them. For example, nurses are often very careful not to say upsetting things that the patient can hear because blood pressure often rises dramatically, even in deeply “unaware” comatose patients.

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Lost wallet Charles PH chB-ff0cgCU on Unsplash

The Lost Wallet Returns—and Experts Are Baffled

Social scientists struggle for explanations as to why people turned out to be more honest than theory led them to expect

Finding a higher level of honesty than predicted was a surprise and the “scientific” explanations offered seem ad hoc and inadequate. The experts do not seem to know as much about us as they think they do.

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Screen of boxes on copy of financial times

Random Thoughts on Recent AI Headlines: Google Gives Away “Free” Cookies…

Also, why AI can't predict the stock market or deal with windblown plastic bags

A good rule of thumb is that unexpected outcomes increase exponentially as a function of AI complexity.

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