The Morality of Humans is Highly Questionable

Recently, Scientific American had an article titled: Why Robots Must Learn to Tell Us “No

Unfortunately, you have to pay to have access to the article, but the point of the article seems obvious to any moral person. Except, it isn’t.

So, I bought the digital subscription. I don’t need any more physical objects added to my already near hoarder level home.

Reading the article it takes an unfortunately narrow view of the bad things humans can order robots to do. The research carried out is on humans ordering a robot to destroy a physical object that it just built, but not ordering a robot to harm another human.

It is still a good article. I definitely recommend reading it. It includes discussion about Asimov’s laws of robotics and how they implemented something like it with ‘felicity conditions’.

The morality of humans is highly questionable. Anyone who has read some articles on this site know I have read and researched dozens if not hundreds of instances of humanity gone wrong. Humanity going wrong may be more the normal circumstance than the exception.

Asimov wrote a book about human that lived on a planet called Solaria. They took their human bodies and altered them. Then, in Isaac Asimov’s story, they defined human as only humans that have been altered as they were. Normal humans could easily be killed by these robots.

Consider that situation and perhaps the coders defining humanity by the color of a person’s skin or the color of their eyes and you can see the deep potential for robots doing harm to some or all of humanity.

Here is a thought experiment:

  1. In the present or near future a company creates drones equipped with squirt guns. It is great fun. The company does well and starts a research and development group.
  2. This group’s research and development comes up with drones that can fire based on facial recognition. These, too are great fun.
  3. Kids get teams of drones and water guns and play during the summer outside and this is recognized as one of the coolest things ever.
  4. The technology propagates out of the United States and western nations.
  5. A man that was turned down by a woman puts acid in the storage chamber and inputs her picture in to the device. It attacks her, burning her face off.

So, the robot – or drone in this case – was just following orders. Drone (or R/C aircraft) technology is widely available today and certainly a squirt gun equipped model could be built – even if the amount of water it can carry is limited.

The above sequence of events is certainly possible. So, what can we do to not have this happen in the future?

The drone must be able to say no. How can the drone say no?

Well, it requires planning and knowing the basic lack of morality of humans. A sensor would be required in the storage tank of the water gun drones. If the substance comes up as not water – the drone may not fire the water gun. In addition, if the acid attack is carried out by drone – prosecution is hard enough in crimes of this type – what about when there is little or no evidence and the perpetrator left the area long before the drone begins the attack?

The problem is that we have already put drones to work in the dirty business of war. We have already set the precedent that drones or “robot” technology can be used in the business of war – the business of killing people.

We will most likely have two sets of rules – military and civilian – for drones and robots.

But wait, there’s more.

Everyone is pursuing different ‘morals’ around the world. Murder isn’t murder if it is….

Honor killing. Except that no, honor killings are just murder. Murder of a family member because that member did something that you don’t like.

Large portions of the population in Islamic countries believe that honor killings are moral. Will they request (and get?) robots or drones with modified rules that allow for honor killings, acid attacks, and more?

If companies don’t create these alternate ‘Islamic’ moral rules robots, won’t the Islamic people create their own?

And More.

In any part of the world rape is a problem. Will there be rapists with robots to hold women down? Robots must be able to say no. Robots will need to understand the situation they are placed. Robots will need to understand what harm is. And programmers will have to have standards as to what constitutes harm.

What ‘moral’ actions will AI robots be applied to in the future? When women survive their husbands in India will the home robot ‘assist’ in removing her from the home – so the son can inherit from the father and the mother be put into a life of destitution begging for food and potentially prostitution?

Will drones and AI robots assist the sale of women for dowry?

But Maybe?

If we can code and ensure that while we humans in general are not moral – that our robots are moral there can be much good for humanity. If the costs of creating AI robots falls fast enough perhaps the drudgery that causes women to be sold for dowry in to slavery can be prevented – if the AI robots take care of these tasks. If there are sex robots perhaps rape can be prevented by having a place for rape to occur, just not to humans. Ethical problems may still arise, but, perhaps if an entity is designed to not be bothered by rape this ethical issues can disappear.

The potential that we have to work toward are moral AI robots – and for the ubiquitous to an extent that it prevents the above horrors. Intelligence may need to be built in to many devices. Autonomous cars will need to know if their sensors have been disabled by an unscrupulous human to commit murder by car. Moral AI robots will have limitations – but it needs to start with a basis of defining harm – and start with the worst forms of harm so that the good of placing moral AI robots in to existence will more than balance the harm that humans may attempt to make them perform.


It is troubling with how immoral humanity is that such power and based on the contents of my blog – we do such horrible things to each other. Perhaps, there is a chance that our children (AI robots, codops, etc) can help make humanity a more moral species.

What Not to Do On a Date

The war on women never ceases. While people want you to pretend that such a thing doesn’t exist or want you to keep focused on wage differences – the reality is that men feel they have a *right* to women’s bodies.

After a few dates and meeting up on Tinder, this man decided that not getting sex was too much – and murdered his date and dissolved her body in acid.

She is no less of a combatant on a battlefield as anyone on an actual battlefield with an end result that you can expect.

On a battlefield, people call for revenge, retribution, justice against our enemies.

However, if a woman dies, and the person that caused that death is confronted about it – in this case the man simply shrugged it off.

Perhaps if the battle was more of a fight instead of a ‘these things happen, she probably encouraged him, she dressed provocatively’ kind of thing – perhaps he should be murdered the same way and dissolved with no one to remember that he existed.

Time Travel, Donald Trump, and Hitler

Exhibit (some very large number)

Description: Donald acting very Presidential (sarcasm)

As Donald has a former Mrs Universe come out on the stage to berate her a man wolf whistles at her. No one does anything. Nobody says this is wrong. No one reports Donald to HR.

There are plenty of time travel stories out there. Some of them involve people traveling back in to time to kill Hitler and prevent World War II.

Isaac Asimov invented two different models of time travel during his science fiction career.

  1. Even slight changes to the timeline can create big changes for the future (earlier or butterfly effect model)
  2. Changes require massive efforts and little changes will easily be erased (later or more complex model)

In the grandfather paradox – what happens if you go back in time and kill your grandfather or grandmother or heck both before they have your parent (or even both sets of grandparents)?

In model 1 – you would cease to exist and not exist to come back in time to kill your grandparents. Nature, what we can observe of it, doesn’t allow for things like this in everyday activity.

In model 2 – someone else will be either or all of your grandparents. You will grow up and travel back in time and kill them(this new set of grandparents). This cycle can continue to happen over and over again – and there will never be a paradox. If you really wanted to not ever have existed – you would have to kill off all of humanity – all of your possible grandparents – to ensure that you were not born to travel back through time to kill your grandparents.

Now to kill Hitler. You know what would be funny? Not ha ha funny, just funny, hmmm.

Nostradamus made predictions about the future. Many people point to a section on the river Hister and think this was actually a prognostication about Hitler. But what if – there was a Hister? What if we do learn to travel back in time – and we murdered Hister for killing millions of people. Then we returned to the future to find everything unchanged except that instead of Hister being the person responsible for killing all those people – it was Hitler.

Not definitive proof of time travel, but interesting. Not ha ha funny, just funny, hmmm.

Rarely, though are human events just about one person. Hitler had a huge following of people that were willing to do whatever it took to make Germany the strongest country in the world. You can write all the orders in the world to build gas chambers, remove people from their homes to concentration camps, and kill hundreds of people at a time, but if no one believes that you are doing the right thing – nothing will happen.

I have seen it dozens of times in the work place. Stakeholders are ordered to do something by upper management and it just doesn’t happen. People always talk about projects that don’t happen because there is no executive sponsorship. Turns out if your employee stakeholders don’t believe in a project – it won’t happen either.

If you look at leadership in terms of a pyramid there are many many more blocks on the bottom and only one at the top. Should the block on the top be removed the vacuum will suck in one of the other higher up blocks in the place of the one removed. Remove Hister you get Hitler.  Remove the top piece you get the next one in place Рand so on.

There are; however, practical applications to the second model in today’s politics. In this video,¬†(linked at the beginning of this article as well) you see Donald Trump embarrass and sexually harass a woman. You see her come out to the audience and men are wolf whistling. You see an entire crowd laughing and jeering at the appropriate parts of the speech so well it might be scripted. Only it isn’t scripted.

And killing Donald Trump is immoral – and would not gain the desired results – say ridding the US politics of the ideals espoused by Donald Trump. He would die. Someone (internal or external to his organization, GOP, or elsewhere) would take his place. It could even make the problem worse – say if one of Donald’s children are old enough to run for President – now they would get a huge sympathy vote for having lost their father.

Assassination, oddly enough, aimed at preventing larger altercations may even make those altercations more likely. The death of JFK or Martin Luther King Jr. did not stop the movements and progress that they were making. It may have changed those things, but how could we say that they were changed in a way that would not have been the case if they had still lived?

ISIS Loses Ground

Rape is about control. ISIS executed anyone who violated their rules – sometimes it seemed the rules were made up on the spot “don’t work with trained birds” “don’t watch soccer” “pictures are bad – except for priest use, etc. This obviously isn’t the same as physical rape; however, it is interested that a ideology that equips so much control of mental rape – allows so easily for physical rape – on a scope that is hardly believable. Sexual slavery, repeated rapes of women (and woman that are barely woman or some that are children) and using doctrine to say – hey – it is ok to have sex slaves as long as they are not our people – whoever their people are…

So, now, just 1 hour and 20 minute drive away from the Syrian capital of ISIS a city – Manbij – is liberated from their tyranny. Even so, just a couple days ago I read another article of ‘gay’ men being thrown off the top of buildings.

I read an interesting some time ago which sadly I can’t find now to reference which indicated that it wasn’t really or wasn’t only gay men that were being executed by being thrown off buildings. Apparently, the term ‘gay’ is applied to any man that doesn’t wear a beard or wears western clothing.

Under those definitions, I would be doubly gay. I never wear a beard. I know some guys like wearing a beard and some women like guys with beards, but honestly, it just seems disrespectful to a woman to have a beard during kissing. At least my beard (those few times I let it grow) the ends of the hair take on the texture of the blade that cut them – leaving what feels like tiny cuts all over a woman’s face that I kiss. On the other count, I rarely if ever would wear clothing that conforms to what would be acceptable by ISIS. I like wearing shorts. Hell, I wear undies and a t-shirt at home and when I use the treadmill – because it is comfortable and my undies practically cover more of my body than some men’s shorts.

Now, if you think it is a stretch that the most controlling society endorses sex slavery and rape – here is some more information.

A word or warning to the people of Manbij – often during wars the front moves back and forth like waves on the sea shore. You are celebrating (rightly so) but this is the age of cameras, digital pictures and the internet. If ISIS retakes Manbij it will not go well for you.

In addition, there are many ISIS people going underground as ISIS fails as a nation-state. These pictures in news articles may make you a target for ‘lone-wolf’ attacks – in retribution against the people the celebrated ISIS losing power. Be careful out there.