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Artificial intelligence: consciousness and conscience

Abstract

Our society is in the middle of the AI revolution. We discuss several applications of AI, in particular medical causality, where deep-learning neural networks screen through big data bases, extracting associations between a patient’s condition and possible causes. While beneficial in medicine, several questionable AI trading strategies have emerged in finance. Though advantages in many aspects of our lives, serious threats of AI exist. We suggest several regulatory measures to reduce these threats. We further discuss whether ‘full AI robots’ should be programmed with a virtual consciousness and conscience. While this would reduce AI threats via motivational control, other threats such as the desire for AI—human socioeconomic equality could prove detrimental.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Esteva et al. (2017).

  2. 2.

    Bhattacharya et al. (2017).

  3. 3.

    https://futurism.com/ibms-watson-ai-recommends-same-treatment-as-doctors-in-99-of-cancer-cases/.

  4. 4.

    The difference between an Android and a Humanoid is simply that an Android is made to look as human as possible, whereas a Humanoid does not necessarily mimic human forms and features. In contrast to an Android and a Humanoid, a Cyborg (short for cybernetic organism) is a being with organic and mechanical parts, popularized by the fictional character Terminator.

  5. 5.

    Morton and Kissell (2013).

  6. 6.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-06-06/how-the-robots-lost-high-frequency-tradings-rise-and-fall.

  7. 7.

    https://www.sec.gov/marketstructure/research/highlight-2013-01.html#.Wl2MkkxFy1w.

  8. 8.

    The term Front Running comes from the days when brokerages received phone orders from their clients. A ‘runner’ would bring the order to the trading pit to be executed. Sometimes another trader would ‘front run’ the runner to place an order on his own account first.

  9. 9.

    A dark pool is an electronic trading system, in which the dealer, the type of order, and the order size is not known to other dealers to provide anonymity.

  10. 10.

    https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/file/910206/download.

  11. 11.

    Tetlock et al. (2008).

  12. 12.

    Singularity has many different meanings in different sciences, sometimes even different meanings in the same science. In math singularity can refer to a function that is not ‘well-behaved’, i.e. not differentiable or is infinite. In Astrophysics it can refer the state of infinite density and heat just before the Big Bang, or the gravity induced singularity in Black Holes.

  13. 13.

    For a plethora of consciousness definitions, in fact 23, from Aristotle to modern definitions, see Pagel and Kirshtein (2017).

  14. 14.

    McDermott (2007).

  15. 15.

    Sir Diaper is the nickname that Siri is calling me, my kids apparently having access to my iPhone.

  16. 16.

    See Koch and Tononi (2008), and Reggia (2013) for details.

  17. 17.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMrX08PxUNY.

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Correspondence to Gunter Meissner.

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Meissner, G. Artificial intelligence: consciousness and conscience. AI & Soc 35, 225–235 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-019-00880-4

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Keywords

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Deep-learning neural networks
  • Social robots
  • Consciousness
  • Conscience