fAIth

fAIth By Beth Singler

My stomach sank the moment the young man stood up. I’d observed him from afar during the coffee breaks, and I knew the word ‘Theologian’ was scrawled on the delegate badge pinned to his lapel, as if he’d been a last-minute addition the conference. He cleared his throat and asked the panel on stage how they’d solve the problem of selecting which moral codes we ought to program into artificially intelligent machines (AI). ‘For example, masturbation is against my religious beliefs,’ he said. ‘So I wonder how we’d go about choosing which of our morals are important?’
The audience of philosophers, technologists, ‘transhumanists’ and AI fans erupted into laughter. Many of them were well-acquainted with the so-called ‘alignment problem’, the knotty philosophical question of how we should bring the goals and objectives of our AI creations into harmony with human values. But the notion that religion might have something to add to the debate seemed risible to them. ‘Obviously we don’t want the AI to be a terrorist,’ a panellist later remarked. Whatever we get our AI to align with, it should be ‘nothing religious’.
At the same event, in New York, I introduced myself to a grey-haired computer scientist by saying that I was a researcher at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at the University of Cambridge. His immediate response: ‘Those two things can’t go together.’ The religious reaction to AI was about as relevant as the religious response to renewable energy, he said – that is, not at all. It was only later that it occurred to me that many of President Donald Trump’s evangelical Christian supporters give lie to his claim. Some have very distinct views on the ‘distractions’ of renewable energy, on climate change, and on how God has willed this planet and all its resources to us to use exactly as we wish.

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Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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