Can Robots Make Ethical Decisions?

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by sandy, Sep 21, 2009.

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  1. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

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    Contemplative individuals have characteristics that robots do not have; thought and the ability for non-random illogical choice.
     
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  3. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    I could easily program a computer to make non-random yet "illogical" choices, although I'd need to know what you mean by the word (does it mean making obviously bad decisions?)

    The defense mechanism of the human mind when it comes to preserving the "special" status of humans is very interesting to watch. It used to be that a computer was capable of "true thought" when it could defeat a chess champion, then the bar was raised to compose music, write a book, etc. Every time the bar is set and cleared, the bar is simply raised again while the value of the previous challenge is simply discarded.
     
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  5. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

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    I don’t think you could, because you don’t know what non-random yet illogical choices are without me telling you. Please go ahead and do the programming and then we will compare the decisions made by your computer to my decisions made without knowledge of the elements of your computer instructions.
    Lol, defense mechanism. You’re saying I have one and you don’t? Can you program a robot to make and program a robot that can make non-random illogical choices? Would that make your robot special relative to the robot it produces? You have to face up to the fact that you are dealing with infinite regression. Do you understand what I mean and can you program a computer that would be able to respond to me the same way you are going to respond?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
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  7. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    I know what I think illogical choices are, I just need clarification of what you mean by the phrase. In other words I would need you to define the criteria in order for me to design a system that fits that criteria.
    10 print "Yes."

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  8. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

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    You need to "design a system that fits the criteria" means to me that the robot will not be able to respond as a human would because you are not capable of defining all of the possible criteria.
    I'm glad you said that with a wink

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    I actually think that question is appropriate to the thread. It shows that the endeavor to build a robot takes on the same characteristics as "who created God". We were challenged to program a computer that could play chess and we did. We were challenged to program a computer that could be a chess master and we did. The challenge is to program a computer that can build a computer and program it to build a computer that can beat a chess master.

    If you can do that then can you build a computer that can build and program a computer that can ... on to infinite regression. There doesn't have to be a god in order produce you and me. But if it took resources beyond your grasp to produce you and me from the universal medium or whatever you think the universe is composed of, then you will never be able to reproduce a human or produce a robot that can function as a human.

    Let me give you a rule to go by that will help lubricate you to function effectively in a world of diverse ideas. There actually will be people that can affect your life that will have a broader view of reality than “humans are no more than advanced robots”, and will expect you to function effectively at their seasoned level.

    The rule: Anything that appears to be non-algorithmic actually has natural causes that we don’t yet understand.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  9. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    "respond as a human would"? Which human? A sleeping one? Mentally ill? Mute? A fetus? Frenchman? Terri Shiavo? I guarantee I can make a computer that responds more "as a human would" in your mind than someone in a persistent vegetative state would respond. Surely you aren't defining humanity by such criteria?
    I certainly have the resources to reproduce a human, as (according to my wife

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    ) I've done it 3 times already. And when you say "function as a human" you're again treading into an extremely subjective area which was my point above. You think you know what a human is, but I doubt you've given it much thought. Is a person missing a hand still human? What about a person missing a face? What about a being with partial brain damage? Does the amount of brain damage matter? If so, how much? What about a living yet disembodied brain?

    My point is you must first specifically define terms before I can say whether or not humans can or will ever be able to achieve the accomplishments in your head.
     
  10. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

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    Are you saying that humans are high functioning robots?

    And your example of being able to produce babies is lacking if you think about it. Can you produce a child that can survive on its own from birth?

    You didn't answer my question about, "Can you program a robot to make and program a robot that can make non-random illogical choices?" Would that make your robot special relative to the robot it produces?
     
  11. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    Easy:

    10 print "10 print 'Yes I have no bananas'"
    20 print "20 goto 10"

    The above is a BASIC algorithm that prints a BASIC algorithm that infinitely produces what I consider to be an "illogical choice". Can you now see the need to be more concise with your terms?

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  12. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

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    Can you see the need to actually respond as if you could understand my words without rejecting them because they don't cover all possible combinations of words, lol.
     
  13. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, I have no bananas.
     
  14. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

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  15. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, and the above rule indicates to me that you agree. Human behavior is deterministic and rule-driven, just like hamsters, robots, bowling balls, and celestial movements; our behavior just happens to be extremely complex.
     
  16. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

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    Your response indicates that you agree with the rule. However, if you take that rule to mean that I agree that human behaviour is deterministic and rule-driven but extremely complex you are wrong.

    Your are saying that the past determines the future based on the algorithmic physical action of the history of particles. You are saying that the history of a complex set of particles determines the motion of those particles in the next instant. I say no, I can affect the motion of particles because I am capable of non-random illogical choices.

    But back to the rule. Are you saying you agree with the rule that I gave you? If so, then I am saying that it is non-algorithmic that I can affect the motion of particles, not robotic. And even though there are natural explanations for my abilities to do things that are non-algorithmic, under the rule there are as yet unseen forces or natural laws that come into play to enable me to do that.

    If you say that humans are robotic because if they are not there must be a God, then you haven't thought about the rule hard enough.

    And you didn't say if you thought that a high level robot could be considered special relative to a robot that your high level robot could build and progam.
     
  17. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    That is a remarkable statement, which I don't believe is true. Please defend it. Start by telling the nature of this "I" - Is it entirely a material object, governed by the natural laws or some non-material thing exempt from the natural laws? If the later how does it even move a single atom? Via some as yet to be discovered force field?
     
  18. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

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    Since you start out with the statement that what I said was remarkable, I don't think my answer would be acceptable to you since I give you credit for having considered the possibility that the "I" is me physically and the ability to affect the motion of particles is as easy as moving my arm.

    Presumably you will have a rebuttal that says my ability to move my arm doesn't count as "me" affecting the motion of a set of complex particles

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    .
     
  19. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    The movement is certainly "you" but why are you moving your arm? You're doing it for a reason. You say you are able to react "illogically" but I claim that anything you do is for a reason, even if that reason is in response to an hallucination of the brain or an attempt to make a point on an online forum.
     
  20. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

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    Lol, I know better than to try to make a point on an on-line forum; no one is willing to give up a point on an on-line forum.

    So I have played all of my cards. You claim that anything I do is for a reason and I don't know why that makes an action robotic. You probably have a reason for saying that that I probably wouldn't agree with

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    .

    To clarify my phrase, "non-random illogical choices", if a computer is given a set of options it will always make its choice based on the programming and given the same set of circumstances it will make the same choice of action. Unless of course you program it to make different choices given the same conditions. A human however can change the chosen action given the same circumstances. If one and only one action is considered to be logical then any deviation from the logical choice is illogical.
     
  21. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    Ahh, I see what you mean by the phrase. I contend very strongly you will make the same choice of action given the same exact set of circumstances, therefore your actions are predetermined. Since subjecting a human to the "same exact set of circumstances" is practically impossible the premise is basically unfalsifiable and left to philosophers.
     
  22. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

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    You are a wise man. It is a philosophical discussion because there are non-algorithmic aspects to human thought and action.

    Since we don't know the causes and effects behind thought and we don't know what makes one person consider the actions of others logical or illogical, there is no known science to call upon to resolve the issue.

    You can thank me for the rule I gave you if you want because it was my best card.
     
  23. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    "A human however can change the chosen action given the same circumstances."

    How do you know thats true.???
     
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