The most recent blog post from Eight to Late is a long take on ethical issues surrounding Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. These issues are center stage in our time of increasingly technological driven business environments and automated decision-making.
The Information Age is a humanistic Blog, in spite of its enthusiastic stance on the promise of information technology. This isn’t opposing stances as I believe technology can improve human nature and lives. But it is unquestionable that technology is from many subtle perspectives a human development that appears, and in some ways may actually be, contrary to enhancement of human nature. I think that human beings are most of the time ambiguous beings, preferring to occlude and mis-analyse reality for reasons that are intrinsically opaque and often on the verge of stupidity. And then there are behavioral, cultural or even natural dispositions that aren’t friendly to technology developments.
The point to stress here is that technology is fundamentally still a human phenomena. I am not going to predict what is the technology scene in say 75-100 years, but it isn’t too much of a stretch of the imagination to foresee a time when humans and artificial sentient beings will share in the further developments of technology. What we all must strive for is a state of affairs in which this turns out to be a fruitful partnership relation and not a relationship of mistrust or of opposition of interests. I do not even see how that might be possible in 100 years time. But at the same time we should be prepared for the social and political consequences of a Society where human beings aren’t in full control of what happens. What we can do to the limit of our strength is fight for that shared control to always, always be to the best of our collective interests, even maybe to the interest of all intelligent sentient beings, natural or artificial…
The long post is worth to read or delve to in on the detailed argumentation, the numerous links and resources. I just begin to read the first two or three paragraphs when I decided to edit this post, so I won’t do a thorough listing of the main points. But I leave it to the reader and as always encourage everyone to take some time to read it. The link is below the highlighted first paragraph:
Data scientists are sometimes blind to the possibility that the predictions of their algorithms can have unforeseen negative effects on people. Ethical or social implications are easy to overlook when one finds interesting new patterns in data, especially if they promise significant financial gains. The Centrelink debt recovery debacle, recently reported in the Australian media, […]
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