U.S. military wants to teach robots how to make moral and ethical decisions

robots

How do you code something as abstract as moral logic into a bunch of transistors?

Are robots capable of moral or ethical reasoning, knowing right from wrong? Not yet. But the U.S. government is spending millions on developing machines that understand moral consequence.

 

 

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Science fiction influences our thinking about the future

scienc fiction

Science fiction can be used to help scientists think about the uses and ethics of their inventions.

The Smithsonian Magazine May issue has an essay on the relationship between science, science fiction, and the future by Boing Boing buddy Eileen Gunn. She writes, “What’s science fiction good for? Major writers — Ursula K. Le Guin, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Samuel R. Delany, Kim Stanley Robinson, Cory Doctorow and others — talk about why science fiction likes to think about the future and how science fiction can be used to help scientists think about the uses and ethics of their inventions. The rest of the issue covers science and ethical issues of the near future.”

 

 

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A Prenatal Treatment to Prevent Lesbian Daughters Raises Questions of Medical Ethics

dexameth

dexamethasone

A New York doctor named Maria New has been advising pregnant women to take a steroid called dexamethasone to prevent homosexuality and “masculine behavior” in their daughters. How did she get away with this form of anti-gay genetic engineering?

 

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The simplification mandate – Surpassing the complexity threshold

 Simplification-6521

“Our life is frittered away by detail …. Simplify, simplify.” — Henry David Thoreau

Ever have one of those days?

Run a day late on a credit card payment, and you’re dinged a $39 late fee.
 
Miss a traffic sign on our way across town – right in front of a cop – and get dinged another $150.
 
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