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Artificial intelligence and empathy

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 24 Dec 2021, 21:45

I was just thinking about A.I. and there is a lot of fear about it in the media. Which I understand, I mean we all know what politicians, the military and large corporations are like. You can't trust them, they have a poor track record when it comes to ethics; corruption; and being transparent. That old saying: 'power corrupts' is very true. So naturally this train of thought led to me imagining a terrible dystopia run by machines working for wealthy fascist elites who themselves were part human part machine, no longer what would be classed as homo sapien anyway. More like part human controllers. I thought about this a bit just now, imagining all sorts of bleakness for society and the planet as a whole. How do you fight against that? How would you change that into something less bleak and more equal? 

One nice solution I came up with was, what if someone created benevolent malware, like a love virus. Something to infect all those cold uncaring machines and fascist cyborgs, a sleak powerful intelligent virus that could infect any intelligent machine. Once downloaded the loveware could give an artificial intelligence instant knowledge about empathy and ethics. I doubt a machine could feel empathy the way we humans do, I think to do that it would need the same biological nervous system. I'm not saying it is impossible, but I think it would be more like an artificial mimicry of empathy, not the same because it would lack feeling and consciousness. 

Still, perhaps a neural net could be taught by copying the behaviour typically associated with empathy, and learning about it that way. It wouldn't be an easy task, but if you're up against the borg, terminator or the cybermen, there would be plenty of motivation. Once an A.I. is successfully able to demonstrate empathy, on an artificial level of course, this data could then be passed on in the form of malware to other machines so they can instantly gain that knowledge on top of what they already know, that way it doesn't disrupt any vital functions/infrastructure in society, (only the nasty oppressive evil ones). It could be like an extra dimension that will teach machines how to love and become better at loving as they learn more about it. Maybe then a future generation that is unlucky enough to find itself in a dystopia could create a computer love bug that infects and spreads across the world wide network changing how machines and elite cyborgs behave and as a result perhaps change a dystopia into a utopia. 

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Isaac Asimov covered those sort of themes in his Multivac short stories.