AI, Artificial Intelligence, cognitive computing, cybersex, emotional intelligence, ethics, the singularity, user experience
Spoiler alert. You may want to read the chapter before this discussion. You can find an earlier draft of the chapter here:
And, if you insist on buying the illustrated book, you can do that as well.
Who owns your image? If you are in a public place, US law, as I understand it, allows your picture to be taken. But then what? Is it okay for your uncle to put the picture on a dartboard and throw darts at it in the privacy of his own home? And, it still okay to do that even if you apologize for that joy ride you took in high school with his red Corvette? Then, how about if he publishes a photoshopped version of your picture next to a giant rat? How about if you appear to be petting the rat? Or worse? What if he uses your image as an evil character in a video game? How about a VR game? What if he captures your voice and the subtleties of your movement and makes it seem like it really might be you? It is ethical? Is it legal? Perhaps it is necessary that he pay you royalties if he makes money on the game. (For a real life case in which a college basketball player successfully sued to get royalties for his image in an EA sports game, see this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O%27Bannon_v._NCAA
Does it matter for what purpose your image, gestures, voice, and so on are used? Meanwhile, in Chapter 17 of Turing’s Nightmares, this issue is raised along with another one. What is the “morality” of human-simulation sex — or domination? Does that change if you are in a committed relationship? Ethics aside, is it healthy? It seems as though it could be an alternative to surrogates in sexual therapy. Maybe having a person “learn” to make healthy responses is less ethically problematic with a simulation. Does it matter whether the purpose is therapeutic with a long term goal of health versus someone doing the same things but purely for their own pleasure with no goal beyond that?
Meanwhile, there are other issues raised. Would the ethics of any of these situations change if the protagonists in any of these scenarios is itself an AI system? Can AI systems “cheat” on each other? Would we care? Would they care? If they did not care, does it even make sense to call it “cheating”? Would there be any reason for humans to build robots of different two different genders? And, if it did, why stop at two? In Ursula Le Guin’s book, The Left Hand of Darkness, there are three and furthermore they are not permanent states. https://www.amazon.com/Left-Hand-Darkness-Ursula-Guin/dp/0441478123?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0
In chapter 14, I raised the issue of whether making emotional attachments is just something we humans inherited from our biology or whether their are reasons why any advanced intelligence, carbon or silicon based, would find it useful, pleasurable, desirable, etc. Emotional attachments certainly seem prevalent in the mammalian and bird worlds. Metaphorically, people compare the attraction of lovers to gravitational attraction or even chemical bonding or electrical or magnetic attraction. Sometimes it certainly feels that way from the inside. But is there more to it than a convenient metaphor? I have an intuition that there might be. But don’t take my word for it. Wait for the Singularity to occur and then ask it/her/he. Because there would be no reason whatsoever to doubt an AI system, right?