Lots of interesting thoughts from Christopher Markou from Cambridge:
Get used to hearing a lot more about artificial intelligence. Even if you discount the utopian and dystopian hyperbole, the 21st century will broadly be defined not just by advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics, computing and cognitive neuroscience, but how we manage them. For some, the question of whether or not the human race will live to see a 22nd century turns upon this latter consideration. While forecasting the imminence of an AI-centric future remains a matter of intense debate, we will need to come to terms with it. For now, there are many more questions than answers.
Particularly interesting was the idea of robot “personhood” and rights. The EU recently passeda piece of legislation on just that (here).
The essay signs off with this:
When you do that, you realise we as a society have made no real democratic decisions about technology, we have more or less been forced to accept that certain things enter our world and that we must learn to harness their benefits or get left behind and, of course, deal with their fallout. Perhaps the first step, then, is not to take laws and policy proposals as the jumping-off point for how to “deal” with AI, but instead start thinking more about correcting the democratic deficit as to whether we as a society, or indeed a planet, really want to inherit the future Silicon Valley and others want for us.