Monday, July 13, 2009

Fake Artificial Intelligence Poses A Real Moral Problem

I have this idea for a robotic art-piece. I think it would make for a truly sensational work of art, but I don't actually have the skills to make it, so I'll just go ahead and tell you about it, and free the idea.

Picture this:

A robot, with big cute eyes, puppy-like, extremely large, with pupils that dilate. Imagine the cutest puppy you've ever seen, looking up at you. Now imagine that puppy as a type of beautiful little monkey, infant like. Under the skin of this furry little baby monkey with giant white eyes and dark dilating pupils, is a robot skeleton wired with an outer mesh of pressure sensors. When you stroke the creature's fur it "coos" and "purrs" and tells you, "I love you SO much, don't ever leave me, I love you, I love you," in the voice of a human toddler. It is programmed to cuddle gently when it comes in contact with a human. However, if the creature is struck with a hand, or a stick, or if it is dropped, the pressure sensors under it's fur prompt a response of a cry of pain and the creature looks up at the human who struck it and says, "oww, I thought you loved me, why would you do that?" And it "wimpers," until it is stroked again. On the back of the creature is a big, red, switch, it is an on-off switch. While the switch is in the "on" position the creature is animated and performs the tasks for which it was programmed. However, if the switch is switched to the "off" position, the creature will turn off and will never be able to be turned on again. Once the switch is switched to "off," all of the circuitry of the robot is shorted and fried. If the creature senses that you are reaching for the switch, a response is prompted by the robot, to say, "NO! Please don't kill me, please don't touch my switch, I love you!" As the switch is switched to the "off" position, the robot will "cry" and "choke" until it's circuits are fried.

While the robot is not sentient (it is only a machine made of wires and mechanics with a fuzzy fabric outer shell), it will no doubt prompt human emotions, because it is so life-like. Could this creature then be considered a living being?


kyle said...

Interesting and strange and scary, Anton.

Daz said...

You need to go read "Genesis" by Bernard Beckett right now. Like, immediately.