Technology

Robocalypse ? Artificial intelligence and its ethics

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  • Are we facing a golden digital age or will robots soon run the world? We need to establish ethical standards in dealing with artificial intelligence – and to answer the question: What still makes us as human beings unique?

    The ethics of artificial intelligence is the part of the ethics of technology specific to robots and other artificially intelligent entities. It can be divided into a concern with the moral behavior of humans as they design, construct, use and treat artificially intelligent beings, and machine ethics, which is concerned with the moral behavior of artificial moral agents (AMAs). It also includes the issues of singularity and superintelligence.

    Mankind is still decades away from self-learning machines that are as intelligent as humans. But already today, chatbots, robots, digital assistants and other artificially intelligent entities exist that can emulate certain human abilities. Scientists and AI experts agree that we are in a race against time: we need to establish ethical guidelines before technology catches up with us.

    While AI Professor J├╝rgen Schmidhuber predicts artificial intelligence will be able to control robotic factories in space, the Swedish-American physicist Max Tegmark warns against a totalitarian AI surveillance state, and the philosopher Thomas Metzinger predicts a deadly AI arms race. But Metzinger also believes that Europe in particular can play a pioneering role on the threshold of this new era: creating a binding international code of ethics.

    Directed by: Uri Shneider

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