Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Morality

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”The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race”. These are the words of iconic astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking. “ With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon”.These are the words of the popular Tech Mogul, Elon Musk. These people are not the only ones who have serious concerns about the potential of Artificial Intelligence. As the world is becoming more and more mechanized, the dialogue about the ethics of artificial intelligence has become more common. Artificial intelligence is primarily based on the belief that aspects of human thought can be computerized. The majority of production companies are already using robots to boost their supply line efficiency. Automation is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and as a result, people’s day-to-day jobs are being disrupted and taken away from them. If left unchecked, artificial intelligence could lead to human extinction because humans may become essentially useless, AI can develop unpredictable behavior, and that AI can be weaponized which can cause serious harm.

If left unchecked, Artificial Intelligence could render humanity useless. Already, the advanced automated systems used in factories have made much of the human workforce redundant. According to Armstrong, “ A computer system that can think and think smarter than humans, deliver faster than humans, has the potential of rendering the whole of humanity redundant”. And it's not just Armstrong who feels AI has catastrophic risks. Devine states, “… roboticists are imbuing computers with more humanity, until the two species - man and machine - may finally morph”. AI developers who have created chess simulations and computers that can prescribe cancer treatment already have tools capable of designing programs that could outperform the human brain. These advancements could have a catastrophic impact on employment rates. Those who had jobs would now be unemployed, and those who were already unemployed would have less of a chance of finding work. This could lead to near-total unemployment.

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In addition to rendering humanity useless, Artificial Intelligence can also develop extremely unpredictable behavior. Daily News & Analysis states, “… such machines could eventually proliferate on their own and possibly compete with humans for the world's resources”. These intelligent machines, if not properly regulated and programmed, have a high-risk probability. “Once you reach a certain level of machine intelligence, and the machine becomes clever enough,” states Chen, “it can start to apply its intelligence to itself and improve itself.” This proves that intelligent machines could alter their own behavior at some point without their developer's knowledge. Once machines are more intelligent than humans, they will be leading the future.

Finally, weaponized AI systems can cause serious harm since they are not controlled by humans. This is perhaps the biggest threat that comes with advanced artificial intelligence. In fact, many of the world’s military have adopted LAWS, which stands for lethal autonomous weapon systems. This advanced tech should be handled with care since “LAWS will lower the threshold for going to war by making it possible to attack an enemy while incurring the no-immediate risk, or that they will enable terrorists and non-state-aligned combatants to inflict catastrophic damage on civilian populations”. If these LAWS fall into the hands of the wrong people, they could spell doom for the rest of the world. After gunpowder and nuclear arms, LAWS are the third revolution in human warfare. “Likewise, the proliferation of drones and cyber-physical systems will allow attackers to deploy or repurpose such systems for harmful ends, such as crashing fleets of autonomous vehicles, turning commercial drones into face-targeting missiles, or holding critical infrastructure to ransom”. LAWS act without human intervention, therefore making them the most dangerous application for A.I and the biggest threat to humanity.

In conclusion, Artificial intelligence poses a severe threat to humanity. The need for humans to continuously advance technology and Artificial intelligence could eventually lead to human extinction because humans can become essentially useless, the AI can develop unpredictable behavior and the AI can be weaponized which can cause serious harm. The dangers are boundless, therefore Artificial intelligence must be approached with thought, care, and ethics.



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  • Risk of extinction: The rapid development of artificial intelligence raises questions about the continuation of the human race and the possibility of violence against humans. (2014, Dec 10). DNA : Daily News & Analysis Retrieved from
  • Tokunbo, D. (2018, Jul 11). Dangers of artificial intelligence. The Sun Retrieved from
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