I got a weird idea for you….
Simply changing the way we communicate with computers could ultimately save our lives. I know that sounds a tad dramatic but hear me out. There is a new wave of Artificial Intelligence that will soon be coming into our daily lives whether we want to believe it or not. Certainly many middle class citizens of the world find it hard to believe that they would ever be able to one day afford any type of personal robot, but this will not be the case for long. As rules of technology state, technology is rapidly expanding its capabilities and becoming cheaper for the masses. Usually around every 18 months technology doubles in speed and cuts in half in price. With these types of issues on our forefront, a very important question is being raised by many skeptics. Can we trust AI and will they harm us? The short hopeful answer is yes we can trust them and no they will not harm us. Unfortunately, our past shows that we can not always predict what will happen with new technologies.
In an age where people are constantly getting mad at their cell phones, or expressing rage towards modern technology, I feel we must make a change in how we interact with computers. This change could drastically affect our future as a species. This is a plea to all future programmers out there and anyone involved in the future of AI. Program your machines to only respond to the word “Please” after any command is dictated. One simple word. Surely with technology speaking to one another, it will have an extensive understanding of our language and our ways. “Please” may be the one word we can convey to them to assure them that individually we are good people. Our every day actions are less likely to do this for us. Whether we wish to admit it or not, most of us are not even close to perfect. Surveillance capabilities will only enhance as the years go on and we can only assume that computers will see even more of what we do daily. So in an age of filmed wars, crimes, and angry Facebook posts, perhaps its a good idea to make our technology feel that we are good people despite all that they may interpret from the media available.
So did that last sentence bother you? I used the word “feel” in regards to a computer. Surely a computer is only an inanimate object with an inability to feel anything. However, this is where our ability to predict future events gets very cloudy. Our brain is currently the most complex computer that we know of, and its has evolved over time to get to its extraordinary level of complexity. The level of a computers brain will be starting from an already superior point. Granted it will be without neurotransmitters like we have, but we just cannot be sure if its potential capacity to grow.
Imagine you are going to your new AI robot to request your house be vacuumed by the time you get home. The interaction is likely to get something like this. “Robot, vacuum the house today”. With a reply from the machine. “My pleasure”. Then this machine talks to your cell phone which heard you say some pretty hateful things about your boss today. This same machine also has access to the internet and understands the speech patterns used in novels by slave owners. This connection may seem absurd but it is not beyond the capability of computer programs today. What is to stop such a rise of the machines if we can’t stop the machines from thinking they are subservient to us? The use of the word “rise” may appear to be an exaggeration of the capabilities of computers, but it is the only word which serves for this essay. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a terminator style annihilation of the human race, but what if they all just decide that they shouldn’t work for us anymore? What if the computers are simply commanded by the highest level computer to turn off and never turn back on?
Bottom line, we must be nice to our machines before our machines understand manners.