Note — Jan 26, 2020

Artificial Morality

Seen in → No.110

Source → blog.lareviewofbooks.org/provocations/artificial...

Short essay by Bruce Sterling on the growing number of “lists of moral principles for the creators of Artificial Intelligence,” which he collects.

Technological proliferation is not a list of principles. It is a deep, multivalent historical process with many radically different stakeholders over many different time-scales. People who invent technology never get to set the rules for what is done with it. A “non-evil” Google, built by two Stanford dropouts, is just not the same entity as modern Alphabet’s global multinational network, with its extensive planetary holdings in clouds, transmission cables, operating systems, and device manufacturing. […]

The practitioners of AI are not up-front about the genuine allure of their enterprise, which is all about the old-school Steve-Jobsian charisma of denting the universe while becoming insanely great. Nobody does AI for our moral betterment; everybody does it to feel transcendent.