Can Asimovian Laws Stop the Singularity?

Posted 5 May 2004 at 20:13 UTC by steve Share This

"The Singularity" is to AI what Grey Goo is nanotechnology - an arguably far-fetched disaster scenario that could destroy the human race. But unlike grey goo, some humans actually want to see the singularity arrive. Paul Gilster has written a short article in which he speculates on the possiblity that providing machines with built-in ethical laws similar to the Asimov's laws of robotics, might protect humans from the effects of the singularity. Interestingly, Vernor Vinge raised (and dismissed) the possibility that any sort of built-in rules could stop the singularity in his original 1993 paper. His reasoning was that machines built without the rules would have a competitive advantage to the builder and greed would win out over common sense.

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