Automation, New Morality and a ‘Global Useless Class’

LONDON — What will our future look like — not in a century but in a mere two decades?

Terrifying, if you’re to believe Yuval Noah Harari, the Israeli historian and author of “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus,” a pair of audacious books that offer a sweeping history of humankind and a forecast of what lies ahead: an age of algorithms and technology that could see us transformed into “super-humans” with godlike qualities.

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Why we must teach morality to robots

Every week comes a new warning that robots are taking over our jobs. People have become troubled by the question of how robots will learn ethics, if they do take over our work and our planet.

As early on as the 1960s Isaac Asimov came up with the ‘Three Laws of Robotics’ outlining moral rules they should abide by. More recently there has been official guidance from the British Standards Institute advising designers how to create ethical robots, which is meant to avoid them taking over the world.

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The future of Google’s self-driving car and morality

Google’s driverless car

California, Florida, and Nevada have made Google’s driverless cars street-legal and some day similar devices may not just be possible but mandatory.   Some day automated vehicles will be able to drive better, and more safely than you can; no drinking, no distraction, better reflexes, and better awareness (via networking) of other vehicles.  Within twenty to thirty years the difference between automated driving and human driving will be so great you may not be legally allowed to drive your own car, and even if you are allowed, it would be immoral of you to drive, because the risk of you hurting yourself or another person will be far greater than if you allowed a machine to do the work.



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Study: Magnets Shown to Manipulate Morality

magnetic-field-lines 132

Magnetic Fields are a thing of wonder.

Magnets can alter a person’s sense of morality, according to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using a powerful magnetic field, scientists from MIT, Harvard University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are able to scramble the moral center of the brain, making it more difficult for people to separate innocent intentions from harmful outcomes. The research could have big implications for not only neuroscientists, but also for judges and juries.

“It’s one thing to ‘know’ that we’ll find morality in the brain,” said Liane Young, a scientist at MIT and co-author of the article. “It’s another to ‘knock out’ that brain area and change people’s moral judgments.”

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The simplification mandate – Surpassing the complexity threshold


“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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Can Animals Tell The Difference Between Right And Wrong?

Can Animals Tell The Difference Between Right And Wrong?

Research suggests that it’s not just humans who have a moral compass  

Animals possess a sense of morality that allows them to tell the difference between right and wrong, according to a controversial new book.   Scientists studying animal behaviour believe they have growing evidence that species ranging from mice to primates are governed by moral codes of conduct in the same way as humans.

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