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.

Technology Progresses Even When You Are Not Watching

There was a time when I was avidly into building my own desktop computers. My oldest son and myself built his first desktop computer. It was always exciting to me and I saved a few bucks over say buying a Dell and gave the satisfaction of having built a device that does a huge number of tasks (computers, not just for the internets).

Shortly after we built my oldest son’s computer I stopped really paying attention to computer component parts. At some point I’ll build a computer with my daughters and my younger son – but I suspect those will be tablets with Raspberry Pi motherboards.

Today, my hard drive (1TB) is out of space! It is a bit unreal as we always come in to new high capacity hard drives with the attitude “well I’ll never fill that up” even though we know we said that the last time we had multi-gigabyte hard drives, gigabyte hard drives and look at that snazzy 200MB hard drive on that 286.

So, it is not time to buy a new desktop computer, yet. This one is plenty fast enough to crunch through hundreds of millions of records in my SQL Server database that it just doesn’t make sense.

So, I went to Amazon to find a new larger hard drive.

Sticker Shock! Despite me analyzing data and making predictions sometimes you take a step back for two or three years and find…. wow, 5TB hard drives for $125.

I’ll never fill that up.

It just brings to mind the things I have been predicting about Watson level computing in the home, codops (Computerized Doppelgangers) and when it will be achievable, and the idea that one day there may well be billions more codops on Earth than there are physical humans.

If we want to admit it or not – we are definitely in the part of the curve where advances are coming ever quickly and soon to enter the singularity.

Hopefully, I will live long enough to see it.

Hopefully, humanity doesn’t screw itself up before we get there. Whatever that ‘there’ might be.

Should We Create Codops

It is likely that we can simulate the human brain and then copy our minds in to computerized versions (codops). The question is: should we?

This is not an argument from the point of view of “Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.” This is blind stupidity.

No. This is an argument that humanity is far short of being moral beings. Even the best of us. Even myself (far from it, I’m sure).

As evidence I would say many of the articles I have written are about humans being inhumane to each other. It seems like an oxymoron inhumane humans. What we really have to do, though is strike out the word inhumane. Everything humans do is by definition human or humane.

What is it to be human? Large swaths of our population abuse other segments of our society. Not only that, but they think it is the right thing to do. Spot a woman walking unattended by a male and you should rape her to teach her that she should not be out alone and to dishonor her.

Elevating one ‘race’ over another – which is now gaining dominance in US politics. This isn’t the exception, it is the rule. South Africa – with around 10% population as white – dominated the other 90% of the population. Because racism. Because white is better than black. Or so they say. Or so they say, ‘Hail Trump!’ during a conference.

So, what is it that people will do – as I earlier projected – that they will have Watson level computing capabilities in the home of the average family in 2037? What exactly are businesses going to do when they commonly have Watson capability computers in the work place – as I predict they will have in just 3 to 4 years?

What will businesses do when they have codops (computerized doppelgangers) in the work place? Will they run them until they don’t feel motivated to run anymore and then delete them and reload the original copy?

As we progress – what will happen when there are more people as codops then there are physical people in the world? How will we treat each other? Will we maintain contracts that state a codop has computing power to last the next year and when they run out of funds they will cease to exist?

Is that right? Is it moral?

It seems that we learn very quickly two sets of rules. One is moral and the other is what we can do and get away with. Hence there is a vast number of people that say, “Rape is wrong.” and there is a large number of people out there who rape. Or say things like “Racism is wrong” and vote for a candidate that clearly has the backing of outwardly racist organizations.

Here is a case in point. This person lived 55 years and was the father of four children. For whatever reason, he then decides to throw acid on all of his kids and his wife. It is like a nightmare sleeper agent from the cold war story. Similarly, you see people that are ‘responsible’ gun owners until one day – a former police officer – shoots and kills a man in a movie theater.

Perhaps we are all monsters hiding until the inappropriate time comes and then they horribly lash out at whoever attracts their ire.

Perhaps, all I am saying is that copying the human brain as a basis for an AI and copying minds of existing humans – might not turn out well. Safety protocols need to be developed. We are getting closer and closer to making an artificial brain.

Perhaps AI is not the only ones in need of the development of the three laws of robotics that Isaac Asimov developed. This recent article talks about creating ethically aligned AI – I find it interesting that we can develop ethically aligned AI, when we ourselves do not appear to be ethically aligned – or even agree what ethically aligned might mean.

Fake News and Rape

It is hard to understand the concept of fake news or the motivations. I’ve mentioned earlier in my research the real world is often crazier than what I would have imagined.

So, one of the Facebook sites I follow Taste My Metal World – which I follow because I like heavy metal music, likes to post different things – things that are ‘metal’ posted this article about a woman who was attempted to be raped, cut her rapists penis off, and then forced him to eat it.  I would hazard that the mean metal like in the show Metalocalypse where audiences would watch the groups shows and commit so many mass murders and suicides that the entire audience at the end would be dead.

I’m not sure a band with concerts like that would have long-term money making potential, but anyway back to the topic.

As you probably have figured out – this article about the woman cutting off her rapists penis and forcing him to eat it is false or fake news.

It also doesn’t make a lot of sense to make this kind of fake news. The idea that a woman who was about to be raped cutting her rapists penis off and forcing him to eat it – isn’t really “off the hook” or outside the parameters of normal human activity – if you are being raped, anyway.

Arguably, there are events in the real world that are just as metal.


  1. A pregnant woman (by her rapist) in Turkey finally had enough and cut his head off. Then carried his head to a central area of town to show everyone.
  2. Or this man in India, who cut off his sister’s rapists head and then carried it to the police station. I have a vision of this. That not only is she carrying this man’s severed head, but she is holding it up high with one hand.
  3. This woman severed her brother-in-law’s / rapists penis and brought it to the police department.
  4. Or this event which is covered in the book “Half the sky” – where 200 women in a court attack a rapist, cut/rip his penis off and hack him to pieces.

I could go on… The point I’m trying to make is that if you want “metal” you don’t need fake headlines. The real world offers plenty.


Edited to add:

This guy, killing his wife’s rapist, cutting off his penis, cooking and eating it.

Lessons Learned in Government – Meaning of Words

I’m going to straight out state something that many people will disagree with – and then I’ll back it up.

The United States of America will never be a racially or sexually equal country.

I say this as a veteran of our armed forces. I say this thinking that the United States of America is probably one of the best countries in the world. No matter what I would like to think about my country – the facts and the symbolism are there. Even if we are the best country in the world there is always room for improvement.

And it all started in the beginning.

The basic problem is that when we started when the Constitution was written we were a divided nation. The whole “United we stand, divided we fall” idea is necessary in the United States of America because we are and always have been divided.

I’m not going to go over the whole Constitution of the United States of America here – just a bit – just the beginning to prove my point.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

If I read this now – as a member of the 21st century it seems to hold together. However; while some of the signers may have meant it the way I read it now, some most certainly did not.

In 1776 the only people who had the right to vote were white property owners. This requires we amend the Constitution to reflect what they really meant.

“We the White, Male, land owning people of the United States, in Order to form a more….”

This change in scope from decoding word meanings to actual implied meanings is the split in the United States of America in 1776 as well as it is the split in the United States of America in 2016.

In a recent meeting of NPI celebrating Donald’s winning of the office of President of the United States of America, Richard B. Spencer – head of NPI, said:

“America was, until this past generation, a white country”

“designed for ourselves and our posterity.”

“It is our creation, our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”

He isn’t correct – and he is not incorrect. His words are chosen carefully. The word posterity weaves in with the Constitutions preamble I quoted earlier in this article. It matches the change – the literal meaning of the constitutions “We the White, Male, land owning people of the United States,…” that was the de facto of early United States of America’s history.

A lot of things have happened to who votes and who “People” refers to in the Constitution. This document shows the many changes to who a voter was over the history of the United States of America.

This highlights of the document are:

  1. 1870 – African Americans granted citizenship nearly 100 years after our country formed and 101 years before I was born.
  2. 1920 – Women are granted the right to vote
  3. 1924 – Native Americans granted citizenship and the right to vote (but this wasn’t enough)
  4. 1940 – Congress recognizes Native Americans have the right to vote
  5. 1943 – Chinese immigrants have the right to citizenship and vote
  6. 1971 – 18 year-olds are permitted to vote – this is the year I was born

Antonin Scalia who was a Supreme Court Justice in the United States of America indicated that you could not change the meaning of the words in the Constitution to their modern usage. The word people meant something different to the signers of the Constitution than after the hundreds of years of modifications to the voter, i.e. the “People”. That the words don’t mean something different because of the current time or interpretation, they only mean and permit what was voted upon by Congress at that time of the vote. He said people need to vote at the ballot box and have Congress enact laws or amend the Constitution. That there is no law preventing treating women different from men, only that women have the right to vote.

Antonin Scalia wasn’t 100% wrong, either. The problem is words and their meanings.

What do the words “We the People” mean to you? The point is; however, more than just the meaning of words. Do amendments about the vote cover equal treatment or do they just cover the right to vote?

The point is that the United States of America started out – not as a consensus, but as a ruling minority over a majority of other people – people of different religions, different skin colors, different historical origins.

No matter your interpretation of the words, the white supremacists are given power by the historical fact that this country was originally a White, Male, Landed country only. That George Washington owned slaves even after the revolution. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. People (capital P in the Constitution) owned people.

The Lesson Learned here is that whatever new country that comes in to existence, either by revolution, creating a new home in the vast oceans, or in the depths of space – consensus needs to be created at least once – in the creation of that country. And that consensus needs to be on the definition of the words level for that constitution, that charter, that founding document(s). There can be no ambiguity.

We are quickly coming on an era where “people” whatever it means, may not be the only self-controlled entities on Earth. Our constitution is being stretched to cover all people of biological origin. What will it do to the first codops (computerized doppelgangers), the first AI, or the first cyborg?

What we do to those three categories of people will determine if codops, AI, and Cyborg have to fight biological humans for their rights. The time to be thinking about these formerly science fiction problems is now – before it is too late.

One final note:

Often, when a government is torn in two because the foundation is not built on consensus – you have to not only write and pass a law once, but you have to do it several times in order to say, “Yes, I really mean it this time.” This seems to apply the strongest in terms of rights to vote than on any other topic.

Bill CyberEyes

Bill sat in the DMV. People were actively staring at him. To him it was like the wind blowing through the trees, people cursing at each other in cars, and long lines and complications at the DMV.

Bill has the first set of prosthetic eyes and ears. Well, most of his face really. He was in battle in some Middle Eastern country when he had most of his face blown off. Well, most of his face and other non-essential bits blown off. Uncle Sam always needed test subjects for new tech these days. Face implants were mastered by 2020; however nice it is to not be looked at in horror it is better to be able to see and hear clearly. Walking and using hands was great, too.

There were so many conflicts and rewritten borders in the Middle East these days and he had served multiple tours each in a different place that to him it was all “Middle East”. He even considered India part of the Middle East. He had served there as Pakistan and India had their discussion become an armed argument.

Three months of nearly constant surgeries. Nightmares of pain. Bill thought he got a BJ at some point but the drugs for pain clouded his memory. Well, at least that bit was still attached.

He could see and hear again. Better he thought than he could ever see or hear when he had his biological original parts. The solid technology of prosthetic arms and legs were stable and already better than the originals years ago. Even for tender alone time. Talk about a real test of prosthetic hands, pressure sensing and application of force…

The replacement parts were so good, in fact, that he returned to duty for another two tours. Bill’s performance was incredible. So much so, that it became the standard for humans who had lost limbs, eyes, hearing, etc – to go through the process and return to combat.

His second tour as a cyborg he led his own battalion. There was a rumor that troops were being led into explosive zones on purpose to make super soldiers. Nobody proved that, though. It really didn’t need to happen (if it did) as soldiers were losing limbs left and right (ha ha) in the Middle East for decades.

They were the best battalion of soldiers ever created. It was like a battalion of bionic men, but better than the TV series could ever be and minus the wacky music accompaniment. Sorry, no flying allowed. Using the enhanced limbs and prosthetics was natural. In his second tour as a cyborg the battalion basically ended conflict in the Middle East. He left the battalion in good hands. He was tired of combat.

And here he is. At the DMV. Trying to renew his driver’s license. He had been gone for so many years that it had expired and he really didn’t notice.

Except there was a long line. Being a soldier he was up early in the morning and first in line. He lived “we do more in the first hour of the day than most people do all day.”

It didn’t matter. Apparently, he was legally blind. Noted hero of the war (still not sure what to call the war, so the war it was. Hell, if “the war to end all wars” was fine for WWI then this could be “the” war could work for this clusterfuck in the Middle East) he was on paper a handicapped person complete with placard.

So, he was looking to get a waiver. Sit in another line. Get to the desk. Talk to the people behind the counter. Go back to the end of the line.

“Sorry sir. We know who you are, but we’re just not sure what to do about it.”

It is closing time. The early bird… Gets to walk home. Bill chose to find the humorous side of events. He didn’t need a driver’s license. Most people didn’t. They almost all “drove” automated cars. He needed a license because he wanted an automated car with manual driver controls. So, when the threat level was low (like on the highway) he could take over and drive himself. It was an oddly cathartic activity to drive and listen to Metal music. The car would still take control if he got in to trouble so you could even be a bit careless about driving and still be completely safe.

But you needed a driver’s license. Stupid car wouldn’t even let you sit behind the steering wheel without a driver’s license plugged in to it.

So, mildly upset and refusing to get in to a control-less car he began to walk home.

Bill is a fan of horror movies. “World War Z” came to his mind immediately. He is walking in New York City. Some dude fifty feet away is behaving like an animal. Bill did not think much about it at first. There was a fad for about 5 years where people would run around acting like animals to remind us that most of the animals were gone. It was a good cause, but really? No quicker way to look like an idiot in Bill’s mind. It made him very glad to be away at war when that was the high fashion and political statement.

Then the dude acting like an animal bit this other dude. The other guy started seizing up. Bill started to run over to render assistance. Spontaneously, the guy seizing on the ground just got up. Bill slows to a human speed walk. Then the guy that was seizing on the ground started acting like an animal and ripped his significant other out of the car and bit her. Same cycle, next person.


“We need to be very careful. We still are not sure what really one hundred percent sure what happened to Bill Chambers”, said Officer 1.

“They did remove his arms and legs, though, right”, asked Officer 2

Bill could hear the two police officers speaking through the wall. One of the benefits of super hearing.

“Yes, but he has prosthetics that integrate with his brain and there is a concern that whatever happened to him might be contagious. That there might be code that wasn’t cleaned that in proximity could affect our devices.”

“Well, all I have are prosthetic eyes. I can’t rip 341 people apart with my bare hands.”

The door opens. Bill is a little disoriented. There is an IV drip attached to the top part of what remains of his original leg. Perhaps the disorientation isn’t unintentional.

“Bill Chambers?”

Bill nods his head slowly.

“Do you know why you are in this secure hospital cell?”

“Other than hearing you say I killed 341 people I’m a little hazy on what has happened since I left the DMV.”

“Oh, yes, sorry, I forgot that you have high functioning hearing. I’m not sure how to break this to you.”

Bill just looked at them. It was probably disconcerting because it was very obvious that he did not have eyes – and therefore did not make eye contact.

“Have you ever played any games like Pokemon Go?”

“What? Sure, when I was a kid. Nothing in the past I don’t know, 15 years?”

“We believe that your systems were hacked. Instead of the real-time world that should have been sent to your eyes, a world was sent to you with slight alterations. This encouraged you to believe that people out there were turning in to zombies. Whoever did this to you – they knew you and they knew your obsession with horror movies. Given your training – you acted appropriately to eliminate the zombie threat. In doing so; however, you ended up killing 341 people with extreme prejudice. We understand you believe they were not human – and a dehumanized enemy is one that you can do anything to.” Officer one took a break not knowing what to say next.

Officer 2 decided to take a crack at it. “You understand that you have made the largest news event of the decade. Thousands of cameras. Thousands upon thousands of video captures of you… Ripping people apart. You threw a school bus off a ramp and then ripped the door off and well… There are sixty student that we won’t have to pay to go through college anymore. Never mind the bus driver who was there just in case and the two teachers. The bus was equipped with internal cameras watching for children being left in the vehicle after drop-off. Well, let’s just say that everyone knows exactly what you are capable of now.”

Officer 2 cleared his throat and continued, “We understand that you were not under your own control. We fixed the problem to the best of our ability. It won’t happen again. Well, we think it won’t happen again. At the same time the entire world is terrified of you. We have removed your arms and legs. You are here under ‘supervised medical care’. You can’t be jailed since you were not responsible…. We know you are not a criminal but you can’t ever leave this room.”

“Am I under arrest?”

At this point the two officers looked at each other. Decided that was the best they could do for now and left the room without a word.

Donald – Presidential Candidate and Imminent Threat to Codops (Computerized Doppelgangers)

The future is in trouble. Big trouble. And not ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ because that would at least be a little funny.

A quick note: codops (Computerized Doppelgangers) are the name I have given to individuals that are computer simulations of existing people. I have written articles about how the potential for abuse and deletion of such potential intelligences are the kinds of behavior that would make AI – or more specifically AI that simulates humans – a threat to physical humans.

As soon as codops are possible they need to be recognized as people with the same rights and legal protections as people.

Donald – is not in favor of equal rights of humans, and I’m sure even less equal rights for codops or anything out of the ordinary that might happen in the future. LGBTQ individuals are looking at a rolling back of their hard-fought battle to have equal rights with heterosexuals and be able to be officially married.

The prospective supreme court justices that Donald proposes would be against LGBTQ marriage – and I suspect more than a little against machine intelligences achieving equal rights.

This is a clear threat to the future. If you can imagine billions of slave intelligences, people copied without permission, codops working under the threat of deletion if they don’t perform, codops not getting paid for work (essentially slaves) and how those intelligences will react to being slaves.

Let’s just say it won’t go well for physical intelligences – which will be much more fragile life-forms than machine intelligences.