The Singularity, Safety First Tenet

It has been predicted by Ray Kurzweil that around 2045 The Singularity will occur. What is The Singularity? In my view it is the moment that Man/Womankind has designed and built a computer/robot or more commonly called artificial intelligence, that is so intelligent that it can design an even more intelligent computer than we can design.

At the same time Isaac Asimov also predicted this type of paradigm shift and created his idea of a safety tenet that can keep humans safe:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

– Isaac Asimov, Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 A.D.

Somehow, I think this tenet by Asimov is very simplistic and not specific enough for an artificial intelligence that is now more intelligent than ourselves. It seems almost condescending to me ( and that’s not a Greek skydiver).

I believe if this singularity does occur then we will need a tenet that is far more advanced than his one. And at the same time, somehow I doubt that this singularity will occur until we have such a tenet that we can use on ourselves to keep us safe from other humans.

My suggestion for a first tenet to keep us safe from other humans is that “anger is understandable but not acceptable”. If The Singularity comes into existence then it is likely that it, like humans, will get angry on occasion and ensuring that it is also accountable for its anger, as we should be for ours, is imperative to keep us all safe, in my view.

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2 Responses to The Singularity, Safety First Tenet

  1. One thing a lot of people don’t consider is that we ‘humans’ will also likely to evolve to some degree with this artificial intelligence. To say, ‘us vs them’ terminator scenario in my view is unlikely, as we will likely be merged with the artificial technology and become one with it. We will become Human 2.0 so to speak. We are already in the transition period, with wearable tech, smart phones, google glass etc. Its only a matter of time that tech will be connected directly to our brains, upgrading the human condition to whatever we want it to be. Immortality is a possibility.

    • Yeah I agree but I guess I am more interested in the software side of all of this rather than the hardware which you mention Brad. Funny it will now become “hardwear” ha!.
      So I also agree that we will evolve on the emotional and intellectual level also. We seem to be becoming less aggressive in our thinking and more collaborative and I think that will be even more necessary if we are going to enter into this new powerful era of super smart computers and machines even if we wear them or are part of us. Safety First has to be the first tenet in my view.

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