[oclug] Re: Fwd: Re: Why we have Source code
chris.nolan at pointforce.com
Thu Jan 25 11:51:18 EST 2001
Interesting indeed. With a 'borg' the line is nowhere near as clear. Was
it the machine or the man who would be held responsible for an act of
questionable moral character ...
For instance I know a women who has a cochlear implant (a device in your ear
to allow her to hear, otherwise she'd be deaf). It is implanted in her
skull and is connected via an interface to an external aural pickup device.
What if one day that device malfunctioned and caused her to 1) eavesdrop on
a private telephone conversation 2) become the "Son of Sam" and hear orders
to kill from her dog. #1 is a privacy concern that she didn't mean to
invade, but the device did it for her - is the device morally responsible or
is she. And in #2, it's far more serious as it could cause mental
instability possibly leading to murder. Hmmm...
I could think of some other scenarios like this with the current prosthetic
devices used for amputees as well. If a guy with a fake leg was driving a
car and the leg malfunctioned and hit the gas instead of the brake and ran
over some little kids. What would be done?
I guess this now crosses over to the "safety and reliability (liability)" of
computer software currently as well. I know there are whole firms (a
prominent on in Kanata I believe that did work on the Chunnel in Europe)
that have to certify software that runs trains and airplanes and medical
equipment already, but when it crosses over to an interface to the human
body. Very interesting indeed.
And your inception of 'free will' into an artificial intelligence is a whole
other conversation. For a recent Hollywood rendition of some of the issues
involved, check out Robin Williams in "Bi-Centennial Man" (based on Isaac
> However, of more pressing concern would be the hybrid creatures which
> we'll call "Borg." At some level, possibly quite soon, this invasive
> technolgy would begin to impact on the strictly human. At what level
> would a "Borg" be culpable for it's actions if it's behavour is in
> some way determined by decisions of the technology. Is a murderer not
> a murderer because of a systems malfunction?
> The prohibition "thou shall not kill" is a blanket prohibition, no
> excuses no exception. This includes not only people but plants and
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