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Here's a thought experiment...
could artificial intelligence govern us?
Populism and disinformation are on the rise, and politics across the
world seems to be dominated by emotions and strongman personalities.
Leaders often seem to be more interested in short-term
political gains, then the long-term needs of their electorate.
But could machines do a better job?
Imagine a world where decisions are made based on impartial
facts and data.
Where the decision makers are unconcerned by scandals,
immune to corruption and have no vested interest in maintaining
their popularity.
A world where climate change is a more pressing issue
than the results of the latest focus group.
And where global leaders don't risk instigating World War Three,
by ranting on Twitter at 02:00AM.
In fact, scientists believe there are no plausible circumstances in which
machines would or could, replace governments entirely.
While a machine might be able to make incredibly complex calculations,
it would have no objective concept of right and wrong,
no definitive way of deciding what's best.
For example, it might be able to objectively analyse the financial
cost of keeping someone alive through medical treatment,
but it cannot quantify whether the human life is worth that cost.
And while you could argue our current politicians may not be subject
to enough accountability,
it would be impossible to hold a machine accountable for its mistakes.
After all, what do you do when a machine misbehaves?
Tell its motherboard?
It's not quite the Terminator, but perhaps the biggest risk
in the medium term, is the use of lethal automated weapons.
While there is currently human oversight, if drones were ever
authorised to make life or death decisions, one mistake could trigger
an automatic reaction and cause an accidental flash war.
Which frankly sounds a tad more terrifying than Arnie stealing
your clothes, boots and motorcycle.
As hard as it might be to believe, technology which surpasses
human intelligence is decades if not centuries away.
But even if it existed, scientists argue that it would be no more useful
in government than the world's most intelligent human.
Instead, it is far more likely that the use of artificial intelligence
in government will continue on its current trajectory.
As an aid in decision making, with humans having ultimate power.
AI is already being used to assist in deciding who gets grants or benefits,
in healthcare and policing.
But think of it like VAR, with a human being acting as the referee.
Of course as machines are programmed by humans and their conclusions used
to support human decisions, they can be susceptible
to human bias, and their findings can be used selectively.
Machines learn from data, which is gathered from the world we live in,
as opposed to the world we'd like to live in.
In places like the US,
where African-Americans are often disproportionately and,
in some cases, lethally targeted by the police,
predictive policing could interpret existing data,
to potentially perpetuate those discriminatory patterns.
Sadly, it would seem that machine learning is no more equipped than
human beings to make big ethical calls.
AI would not be an infallible replacement for flawed human beings.
How we use AI to govern,
whether or not it is manipulated or how mistakes are made,
are all down to human beings themselves.
In short, AI is much more human than we ever realised.
Which is perhaps the scariest notion of all.
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What if robots were in charge of the world? | BBC Ideas

16 タグ追加 保存
Annie Huang 2020 年 5 月 16 日 に公開
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