New advances in computer technology continue to surprise and excite us, but it is difficult to tell where these advances are going to take us in the future. The world of AI is changing rapidly and since people are freakin’ out about our impending obliteration at the hands of the robot community, AI researchers have decided to teach robots a lil sumthin’ sumthin’ that’ll decrease this potentiality considerably; that sumthin’ is empathy.
Empathy: the difference between right and wrong, the capability to put oneself in another’s position, to understand or feel what another is feeling. Knowing that, yes, taking candy from a baby is easy, but also pretty mean. Lots of people are incapable of this or struggle to practice it, but now we’re just going to teach robots how to do it.
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The question is how are scientists doing this? Using literature of course!
Researchers at the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology have turned to literature to teach robots how to behave appropriately in human society. Remember reading fables as a child in order to learn morality? The tortoise and the hare? The ant and grasshopper? The boy who cried wolf? Well, now our robotic frenemies are reading the same.
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The Quixote system, an ethical value system for robots, has been invented by scientists to teach robots how to behave like a protagonist from a novel they have read. AI can now illuminate key aspects of narrative including time, space, characters, and plot. The decision process is apparently marked by a reward system. Tasty robot treats perhaps.
That being said, we have been warned and warned again about this whole artificial intelligence stuff. Some of the smartest people on the planet have given us their opinion. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, says advanced AI “could be more dangerous than nukes.” Physicist Stephen Hawking said that AI would be glad to be “the end of humanity.” NOT COOL.
It’s crazy to think that our extinction could be caused by weaponised hacker robots. But this could be avoided if AI read a story about a fox and a crane having dinner together. Anything to save humanity as we know it, right?
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