could a.i. encourage human violence-erikacramer

Here’s the ramble I thought up while we were learning about AI.

So, imagine we do find out how to program a thinking machine that can simulate human emotions and “feel” pain.  I don’t know much about robotics or programming but I feel like if we’ve come this far already, eventually we’ll probably get there.  I worry if by creating these kinds of machines that are similar to human beings, it will bolster already existing tendencies within our population to dehumanize those around us in order to inflict cruelties.  A number of studies have already shown that many people who have committed acts of violence on others got their start by practicing brutality first on other species, eg. pets, dogs, etc.  (Article!)  I wonder that if by creating machines that look and act like humans but are not to be treated like humans, people could become even more detached from their communities and out of practice with humane responses such as compassion, empathy, etc. via increased contact with machine and decreased contact with a caring community of real live people.

Unfortunately, there is a reason why this probably wouldn’t occur… at least for a very long time.  The cost to own a machine capable of such similar interactions of a human would be extremely expensive, and it seems these days we treat money with more care and planning than most things. Thus substantial abuse of a sophisticated a.i. robot would probably not occur often enough to bolster my worries.  Common everyday interaction with these machines however might, as it seems long hours of interactions with computers and televisions instead of other people has had plenty enough of detriments to our communities.

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