Ethics, humor, intelligence… What future for AI?

Philomag offers you a weekly selection of articles published in the French and foreign press, gathered around a common theme. Articles that surprised, questioned, disturbed us. The opportunity to discover new points of view on the world and the events that make the news.

This week, a theme: the artificial intelligence (AI) of tomorrow. How will robots solve the moral dilemmas they will face? What kind of bond will we forge with these increasingly humanized androids? And in what sense can we say that they are intelligent?

Jonny Thomson: “Machines will inevitably face more and more ethical decisions”

“What ethics should be programmed into robots tomorrow? » This is the question posed by the professor of philosophy at Oxford (United Kingdom) Jonny Thomson on the site BigThink. Automatic cars, recruitment algorithms, judicial programs… In the near future, “AI will have to make decisions that could significantly affect our lives”, underlines the English philosopher. If everyone agrees to say that it is necessary to frame its decision-making by certain principles… nobody agrees on the aforementioned principles. “When we humans make moral decisions, we weigh each of the principles and values” that seem relevant to us. We manage with this indeterminacy, because we know that at the end of the day, we need a criterion on which to base our action. AI is not capable of this weighting between different ethical perspectives. And that’s the whole problem, perhaps insoluble, of ethical programming!

Tony Veale: “A humorous machine necessarily has a stronger social awareness of its users”

Tomorrow’s programming will not only have to make an important place for ethics, it will also have to focus on humor, says professor of computer science at the University of Dublin (Ireland) Tony Veale in Psyche. It’s not easy, of course, to reconcile the rigidity of a programming language with the fluidity of humor, which fits precisely into deviations, errors, hesitations. All the more reason, according to Veale, to get down to it today – and not to develop humorous robots, but to develop the humor of all AIs. “AIs with a sense of humor will grease the wheels of our daily interactions, with machines […] As the population ages and we become more reliant on machines in the home, we will need our home care companions to be, say, more sociable. A sense of humor is more than just mastering jokes” recited mechanically. It is inseparable from a real ease in the use of language. And the guarantee of a more satisfying relationship with our robotic companions of tomorrow.

Rich Heimann: “The field of AI is inhibited in understanding what intelligence is”

Ethical, funny… and intelligent, the robots of tomorrow? Not so sure, according to data scientist Rich Heimann. In any case, we have little chance of succeeding as long as we remain locked into reductive conceptions of intelligence. In Tech Talkhe refers back to back the different contemporary approaches to the question – behaviorism, functionalism, computationalism – which are not concerned with knowing whether “thought implies a thinker”, but also more traditional approaches such as “brain in a jar” based on a separation of body and soul. “These frameworks are contradictory and incompatible with the biological brain and natural intelligence”he points out. “Real artificial intelligence cannot be real unless the ‘brain in a jar’ has legs”arms, limbs… In short, a body.

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Ethics, humor, intelligence… What future for AI?

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