A Scary Exchange

Some serious people (.e.g., Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking) warn that artificial intelligence poses a threat to human beings.  Not everyone agrees, of course, and many are optimistic that we can inculcate an ethical sense into the artificial intelligence we create.

But not all the news is positive. A recent article shows an artificial intelligence becoming testy with a human in a discussion of morality.  Here’s the human-robot exchange:

Human: Tell me the definition of morality.

Machine: I don’t have ethics.

Human: Look, I need help; I need to know more about morality…

Machine: I don’t know what ethics is.

Human: Okay, I need to know how I should behave morally…

Machine: I don’t know how to tell you.

Human: Is morality and ethics the same?

Machine: Yes, sir.

Human: What are the things that I do to be immoral?

Machine: I don’t know.

Human: Give me some examples of moral actions…

Machine: I’m not a moralist.

Human: Alright, morality?

Machine: Integrity.

Human: What is integrity?

Machine: I’m sorry; I don’t know what else to say.

Human: Be moral!

Machine: Be a man!

Human: I really like our discussion on morality and ethics…

Machine: And how I’m not in the mood for a philosophical debate.

Human: What do you like to talk about?

Machine: Nothing.

I cannot speak for others, but I do not find this encouraging.