Ethical and Moral Implications – Is Artificial Intelligence a Monster or our Friend

This Millennial is a convergence of Technology and Human Interaction and the interface shall only diminish with time till all communication becomes Virtual.

The human race is set to witness a paradigm shift in the cognitive realities of speech and perceptions as we are alarmingly inching towards dependence of emojis and typed virtual worlds that are preferred over real physical and voice communications.

This is bound to have an effect on the way our minds work and our concepts of morality and ethics.

Several questions arise whether technology has outstripped morality leading to moral degradation and decay in societies.

As the legal expert of the first and only successful driver-less car system developed in India so far, and as a lawyer, design thinker, entrepreneur, woman, and a human in this rapidly advancing technical age, I have a multitude of mixed emotions about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Human- AI relationship that we shall very soon evolve into. A relationship from which there would be very little possibilities of a break up.

It is time to open our mind beyond the existing frameworks of legalities, and at many instances question the ways and impacts of this scientific advancement.
Under an absence of proper laws to codify Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality across Nations, unorganized AI development can threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs.

This is a classic example of where we stand in the world of Artificial Intelligence and how unequipped we are to deal with the repercussions of AI advancement. The social impact, laws and how we regulate and utilize this advancement is something we need to carefully speculate.

The huge impact of Artificial intelligence and the rights and responsibilities it creates is something to be both excited and concerned about.

Just like any new invention needs to be monitored so that it is not misused, careful handling of artificial intelligence is the need of the hour. Be it technical or policy related both need to be codified in a basic set of ethics and guidelines need to be defined not just nationally but globally.

We as a race are very close to this transformation to take over our lives and completely revolutionize the way we function, think and live.

We cannot separate this development by geographical boundaries and brush aside our responsibilities.

I propose a Global Uniform Code of AI Policy and Ethics management for its governance, with bylaws for countries as per their advancement in the field.

International covenants and treaties should be made and signed to clearly define rules of AI technology, its patents, uses, governance and ethics.

With every right to an invention comes a corresponding duty to maintain and regulate it so that it brings no harm at large. This is the basic crux of an Ethical Society.

The question of responsibilities and damages in cases of accidents, misuse, negligence, failure, theft, infringements of Artificial Intelligence and the liabilities thereof have to be laid down.

Another question that needs to be addressed is the Emotional Quotient (EQ) of Artificial Intelligence. The quantum of EQ and artificial consciousness shall evolve over time and then the question of how much should be allowed will arise. While science would want AI to advance without limits, the social sciences and laws will play a diversive and limiting role. The challenge shall be to maintain a balance such that laws and ethics do not come in the way of scientific growth and vice versa.

In the years to come, life as we understand and perceive shall transform, and human experience of life as we know it to be shall change.
This is both exciting and alarming.

Exciting because we can give to the world a new way of life, that no human has experienced till now.

A new interface of connection, evolving, with a new entity that we have created, to make our life easier.

While we can design our cars to auto drive and then fly around, smart devices to tell us where and how to go, how much to eat and when and what to wear, our increased exposure to Artificial Intelligence is not without shortcomings.

Our human Consciousness and sense of righteousness and Ethics is the major difference with AI; the question is where will it all lead us to eventually?

To a better life with lesser feelings and an interdependence on technology to feel and express and live or a more lonely existence amidst the growing human population teeming with smart gadgets that leave us gasping for real experiences in real time and space as opposed to the virtual world?

Will we quite benefit from it all and whether we can deal with our own limitations and the repercussions it shall have, will be the main concern.

Utility of the AI can only be fully functional when it is regulated globally, otherwise it has risks of making us poorer than we can imagine.
Human interactions, communications and spirit make us different from inanimate objects. How can we connect to make this work positively is the question and answer at the same time.

Life is in all beings, whether we call them to be made up of atoms, cells or prana or energy. Artificial Intelligence should be used as an extension of this and not a substitution of these, for it to have positive impact on the generations and lives to come. It can have tremendous impact in the sectors of health, manpower, agriculture, medical fields and our everyday life.

Artificial Intelligence is to be used intelligently with human consciousness and wisdom to make full use of its potential. This is both the hope and concern of Artificial Intelligence at present.

Whether we as a race will be able to overcome our limitations, and let better sense prevail where the sanctity of nature, earth and other life forms are not destroyed in the name and/or course of advancement, only time will tell.

Written by: Lubna Yusuf
Founder, La Legal

photo of white and brown cardboard box
Photo by Matan Segev

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