Thursday, December 09, 2010

Bow to me (and squander your potential) my robot!

When we create a robot or an AI or a new breed of dog1, do we program it to worship us, its creator?

Isn't the thought that a creator would infuse its creation with a supreme desire to worship it above and beyond anything else just repugnant? And ripe with arrogance and vanity?

When humans create something, we try to give it autonomy, intelligence, free will, etc. Our last concern is that our gadgets turn around and praise us. That would be utterly ridiculous! What do i care if my robot glorifies me or not? What kind of creator would I be if I did? (Imagine further if we did create gadgets to worship us, but also programmed them to not be able to see or hear us... clever...)

It seems highly more likely that the true test a creator would present us with is not how many times we can repeat creeds, but how much we can achieve and evolve and progress independently.

What would you prefer in 50 years? A robot that followed you around chanting your praises and leaving offerings on the kitchen table, or one that solved your problems and those of the people around you in cool and fantastical ways. (If you said "both", please read the last sentence of paragraph 2 again.)

1 Admittedly, dogs worship us, but it's in their nature, plus, dogs are a bit unsophisticated.