Self-driving cars aren't the only emerging technology facing major questions about ethics and accountability.
Just like automated vehicles, robots and advanced AI will require new sets of laws to define the extent of owner liability and accountability. Creating these laws will require an important ethical discussion: Who is at fault when a robot misbehaves? According to author Jerry Kaplan, there is a precedent for creating codes and consequences for robots that do not apply to others. Take, for example, the fact that criminal charges can be brought against corporations rather than the people operating beneath the corporate shell. Similarly, we can develop laws that would allow robots and their programming to stand trial.
Author and entrepreneur Jerry Kaplan offers an interesting crash course on computational ethics, the idea that robots and machines will require programming to make them cognizant of morals, decorum, manners, and various other social nuances.
How will the computer controlling your automated car interact with pedestrians? Who will teach robots what's socially acceptable behavior and what is not? These are the sorts of questions on the minds of people like Jerry Kaplan, who in this video offers an interesting crash course on computational ethics. Robots and machines are going to need programming that makes them cognizant of decorum, manners, and various other social nuances. And as Kaplan notes, no one is really quite certain how it's all going to be done. This is because any technology that takes accountability and decision-making away from human "operators" is innately going to be drenched in uncomfortable, uncertain philosophical dilemmas. These are big issues that require a thorough social discussion. What are we willing to accept? Where do we draw the line? There might come a day when artificial intelligence is able to answer these questions by itself. Until then, we're responsible for shaping A.I. to suit our still-to-be-determined values.
Companies like Amazon take advantage of the fact that they know a whole lot more about buying patterns than you do. As author and entrepreneur Jerry Kaplan explains, this sort of information asymmetry is the real crux of their business plan.
Companies like Amazon take advantage of the fact they know a whole lot more about buying patterns than you do. As author and entrepreneur Jerry Kaplan explains, information asymmetry is the real crux of Amazon's business plan. That Amazon sells goods is incidental. The real money is generated by machine learning algorithms that can deftly achieve arbitrage: the ability to set prices in a way that maximizes profits. So the next time you spot a price shift for a product you've been keeping an eye on, know that a hyper-intelligent computer system has for just as long kept its eye on you, and it's smarter than you think.
Jerry Kaplan is widely known in the computer industry as a serial entrepreneur, inventor, scientist, and author. He is currently a Fellow at The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. He also teaches Philosophy, Ethics, and Impact of Artificial Intelligence in the Computer Science Department, Stanford University.
Kaplan co-founded several ventures including Winster.com (social games); Onsale.com (online auctions); GO Corporation (tablet computers); and Teknowledge (expert systems). He wrote a best-selling non-fiction novel entitled “Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure”, selected by Business Week as one of the top ten business books of the year, and optioned to Sony Pictures, with translations available in Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese. His latest book is titled Humans Need Not Apply.
Kaplan co-invented numerous products including the Synergy (first all-digital keyboard instrument, used for the soundtrack of the movie TRON); Lotus Agenda (first personal Information manager); PenPoint (tablet operating system used in the first smartphone, AT&T's EO 440); the GO computer (first tablet computer) and Straight Talk (Symantec Corporation's first natural language query system). He is also co-inventor of the online auction (patents now owned by eBay) and is named on 12 U.S. patents.
He has published papers in refereed journals including Artificial Intelligence, Communications of the ACM, Computer Music Journal, The American Journal of Computational Linguistics, and ACM Transactions on Database Systems.
Kaplan was awarded the 1998 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Northern California; served on the Governor’s Electronic Commerce Advisory Council Member under Pete Wilson, Governor of California (1999); and received an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from California International Business University, San Diego, California (2004).
He has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Red Herring, and Upside, and is a frequent public speaker.