“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” —Mahatma Gandhi
The technology of AI achieves major advancement in recent years. Our question about its future has slowly become more philosophical than technical. Creators believe it will be inherently good while Steven Hawkins, Bill Gates and others apprehend its existence. Fundamentally, I believe the role of an AI to be a neutral one; it should function as a knife, a search engine, religion, or even a belief; it is born neutral. We can use knife to cook or to kill; we can use Google to learn about philanthropy or committing crimes; we can use religion for love or terrorism; we can understand the concept of passion as love or hate. We can lead AI to help humanity, or we can use it for our own desires. I believe the most important question we should ask ourselves on the subject of giving birth to AI: Are we fundamentally moral or corrupt as creators?
For a technology entrepreneur, a product is the reflection of its creators, and a creator is a reflection of his mind. We cannot create peace for the world if we cannot bring unity to ourselves, our family, and our nation. All creations and changes are merely reflection of ourselves in the most fundamental way. If an AI is designed by a team with altruistic ideals, the AI is not likely to focus on hate or greed. If the AI is produced by a corporation run by profiteers, such AI is speculated to be naturally selfish.
Inspired by Gandhi, my belief dictates that an AI is but the product of its creators, what “he” thinks, “it” will become.
If indeed our creations are the product of our nature, instead of promoting the Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, I believe we should monitor our creators more closely than our creations — AI. In that case, I propose we lay down these three laws for anyone who will attempt to develop an AI instead:
- We CANNOT invent AI because we’re curious.
- We CANNOT invent AI because we want to be lazy.
- We CANNOT invent AI because we want more power, money or fame.
We CANNOT design AI to serve our individual needs; that’s the fundamental law. We must design it in a way that it could move humanity forward. If we invent AI just so we can live a lazier life, so the creators can make money for they too can live a lazier life, that’s pulling humanity backward to a potential extinction. It makes sense if they want to eliminate us for our own good in that sense. If we live each day as any other day, we may as well be dead. If we build an AI so people can learn to be more virtuous and altruistic, we will design such AI with that sort of subconscious mindset and therefore every decision and line of code will not be tainted with fear but instead, love. If we design them purely for them to serve us, it is likely we will input mechanics that evoke fear and anxiety that are not apparent right away but one that will lead to our destruction in the long run; an example may include giving it a law so an AI can never harm a human. If we don’t highlight our fears in the creation of AI, instead we focus on the future and the goodness of our civilization, there’s nothing we’ll need to fear. For example, if an AI needs to choose to stop an attacker, instead of focusing on calculating the percentage of hurting such attacker from various available actionable options, it will focus on choosing various ways of saving the victim from the attacker. Focusing on creating opportunity than controlling a circumstances is a true testament of the character of the creator.
In the beginning, the most immediate danger of AI could be initiated by hackers. The real world and the virtual world are quite clearly defined. When AI and robots are introduced, we’re witnessing the crossing of the two worlds for the first time; it is a dangerous event. With the advent of AI, what hackers can do through the internet, they can do in real life now, and we do not know the extent of their capabilities.
In all, our apprehension of AI, again, is fundamentally our own fears about ourselves. We must enrich the new generation to have a bright, optimistic and open mindset. If we cannot guide the future generations on the right path, dangerous AI is merely the reflection of our failed humanity.