PHIL 222 Artificial Intelligence in Autonomous Weapons Discussion

The assignment: Your formal writing assignment for this course consists of choosing ONE of the case studiesbelow and then, in response, answering a short series of questions about that case. Here are your case-studyoptions, followed by the questions you will need to answer as well as other writing guidelines: Option 1: The impact of AI on design/creative professions• READ: When a machine designs, what should be its limits? ‘Artificial Intelligence and the Future ofAesthetics’ –

https://www.archdaily.com/937051/when-machines-des…

Option 2: Autonomous Weapons and Questions of Governance and Diplomacy: who controlswhat?• READ: ‘AI & Global Governance: When Autonomous Weapons Meet Diplomacy’ –

https://cpr.unu.edu/ai-global-governance-when-auto…

Option 3: Machine Learning, Algorithms, and Bias: should we/can we design unbiased systems?• READ: ‘You can’t eliminate bias from machine learning, but you can pick your bias’ –

https://venturebeat.com/2020/11/14/you-cant-elimin…

Questions (answer both – these will be the primary focus of your writing):1. What are the main problems connected to the use of A.I. considered in your case study? Whatargument or arguments are being made about the dangers of A.I.? Please explain in your own wordswhat you see as the key parts of the text, making sure to explain any important terms. 2. Reflecting upon the kinds of A.I. discussed in your case study, tell me: how can this technology be madeto work so that it avoids the pitfalls or dangers mentioned in the case? Likewise, what do YOU thinkconstitutes a “good” (as in ethical) use of this technology? (You may want to refer to our readings onUtilitarianism and Deontology (duty ethics) in composing your thoughts on this final question.)General writing guidelines and other comments:

– Essay length: between 1,000 and 1,200 words (which is approximately 2.5+ pages in length).

– Format: proper essay structure throughout; please make sure to introduce your topic/case study

briefly as well as offer some concluding remarks; also, make sure to 1) keep your margins within a

normal range (not too wide or too narrow), 2) keep the font within a normal range (11-12 point), and

3) use a normal font style (Times New Roman, Gill Sans MT, etc.).

– Research: no research outside of reading the case study itself .

– Referencing of sources: when referring to anything from your reading on the core ethical theories or

from the Wallach and Allen text, pick a formal citation style (such as MLA, APA, etc.) and use it

consistently; anything (ideas or quotes) you have borrowed or gleaned from these sources, including

paraphrasing, must be acknowledged and cited properly. Again, as noted above: this is not a research

paper. Please do not go beyond the main readings themselves (case study, core theories readings, and

the Wallach and Allen text) when responding to the above questions.

PHIL222 – Week 11
Wallach and Allen, Moral Machines, Chapter 1: ‘Why machine morality?’
First things first: what is artificial intelligence, as far as you understand it? How might it impact
your profession/be relevant to what you do?
Some examples and important categories (see: https://www.springboard.com/blog/narrow-vs-general-ai/ )
Narrow AI (ANI) – where we are & how we use it now






Self-driving cars
Facial recognition tools that tag you in pictures
Customer service bots that redirect inquiries on a webpage
Google’s page-ranking technology that determines which websites appear at the top of the search
engine
Recommendation systems showing items that could be useful additions to your shopping cart based
on browsing history
Spam filters that keep your inbox clean through automated sorting
General AI (AGI) – where we may be soon





AGI, or “strong AI,” allows a machine to apply knowledge and skills in different contexts.
This more closely mirrors human intelligence by providing opportunities for autonomous learning
and problem-solving.
Currently, one of the main approaches to AGI is called “whole brain emulation,” where a brain’s
memory and mental state are transferred onto a computer. Computer architecture is similar to the
brain’s because they can both operate through a system of neurons called neural networks.
To date, scientists have been able to replicate the brain of a 1-millimeter flatworm consisting of 302
neurons. The human brain, however, is estimated to contain 100 BILLION neurons, which means we
have a way to go before we can recreate our brain.
For AGI to match human intelligence, it needs to be able to transfer learning from one environment
to another, use common sense, work collaboratively with other machine and human stakeholders,
and attain consciousness. (Yikes. I know what you’re thinking…)
Or, if you’re like me…
Part 1: Trolley Car Drivers and Robot Engineers



Are human drivers or ‘automated’ drivers of trolleys safer/more reliable?
Why is there a bias against automation? Why don’t we trust it? (But really, why should we trust
humans more?)
What kinds of factors will we need driverless trains/trolleys to consider? How about the ‘service
robots’ described in this section?
Part 2: Good and Bad Artificial Agents?

What makes an artificial agent good or bad? (How is good/bad defined here?)
Part 3: Present-Day Cases

As the authors say, ‘Science fiction scenarios of computers or robots running amok might be
entertaining, but these stories depend on technology that doesn’t exist today, and may never exist.’
(See THE TERMINATOR above.) BUT: what applications of AI are in use today and pose challenges
for us? Explain some examples from this section:
o Allen’s credit card mishap
o 2003 North American power ‘blackout’
o Data-mining bots
Part 4: Ethical Killing Machines?

The authors pose the question: should we stop developing AI/robots altogether IF they will be used
in warfare? Why yes or no?
Part 5: Imminent Dangers

What are the dangers posed by various future applications of AI?

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