Arising from TV2004, ISTAS2013, and culminating at VRTO2016, on Sunday June 26th, 9:15am to 11am
(Code of Ethics on Virtuality, Robotics, and Human Augmentation)
Preamble, rationale, and history of this Code of Ethics (Link)
New abstract, with further input from David Brin (Link)
The long-term risks of artificially intelligent machines are
Less understood, but more immediately pressing, are the
risks that humanistically
intelligent entities pose right now, whether facilitated by
"smart buidings", "smart cities" (a camera in every streetlight),
or "cyborgs" with wearable or implantable intelligence.
This sensory intelligence augmentation technology is already developed enough
to be dangerous in the wrong hands, e.g. as a way for a corrupt government
or corporation to further augment its power and use it unjustly.
Accordingly [as of our meetup at Transvision 2004, ISTAS 2013, and VRTO2016],
we, the undersigned, ratify and affirm the following
(Sensory auditability; Sensory fairness; Technological auditability).
- Humans have a basic right to know when and how they're being surveilled,
monitored, or sensed, whether in the real or virtual world;
- Humans must not be forbidden or discouraged from monitoring or sensing
systems or entities that are monitoring or sensing them, whether
in the real or virtual world;
- Humans have an affirmitive right to examine and understand
information that has been recorded about them, and such information
shall be provided immediately (feedback delayed is feedback denied).
Humans must not design
machines of malice.
All human augmentation technologies shall be developed and used in a
spirit of truth, openness, and unconcealedness, providing
comprehensibility through immediate feedback.
System designers shall design for immediate feedback,
minimal latency, and respect for neural pathway formation.
(Again, feedback delayed is feedback denied.)
To be finalized and completed Sunday 2016 June 26th... and will be
published in the proceedings (link).
Further musings on the Second Law of Human Augmentation
Systems that monitor or sense humans must not forbid or discourage humans
from monitoring or sensing them. Systems that watch us, while forbidding us
from watching them, are unfair and often unjust.
The Veillance Divide is Justice Denied
In the new, "transhumanistic era," some machines will acquire human qualities
such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), and some humans will
acquire machine-like qualities such as near-perfect sensory
and memory capabilities.
Irrefutable recorded memories - suitable as evidence, not mere
testimony - will challenge many of our old ways, calling for updated ethics
that serve the interests of all parties, not just those with power or
authority. Our greatest danger may be a "(sur)Veillance Divide" where things
and elites may record with perfect memory, while normal people are forbidden
from seeing or remembering.
Therefore, we the undersigned propose the following Code of Ethics
on Virtuality, Robotics, and Human Augmentation, to clarify
our the need for fairness, equality, and two-way transparency.
- 2a. I pledge to not surveill or record any individual or group while
simultaneously forbidding that individual or group from recording or
- 2b. I pledge to respect the needs of others for the sanctity of their
personal space. I will negotiate any disagreements reasonably and with good
- 2c. If I witness a crime against fellow humans, whether perpetrated by
low-level criminals or by elites or by authorities, I will aim to record the
event, overtly or covertly (whichever is appropriate). I will aim to make such
recordings available to injured parties.
- 2d. I will maintain that, with few exceptions, being surveilled while
simultaneously being forbidden from sousveilling, is itself an injury.
Therefore, if I witness any party being recorded, while that party is
simultaneously prevented from recording, I will aim to record the incident, and
to make the recording available to the injured party.
- 2e. When recording others, I will attempt to understand and use secure
storage so that there can be temporary exclusions (or "escrow storage") until
disagreements may be adjudicated. Here the burden-of-proof is on the party
prohibiting unescrowed recording.
- 2f. I will try not to be provocative or confrontational, assuming the worst
about others. But the light that I shine and the recordings I take may thwart
injustice. It is possible to apologize and make amends for too much light. Too
little can be lethal.
We welcome others to discuss and build upon this work at our 2016 June 26th "Codecert" (Code of Ethics Concert),
Keynote, and Panel Discussion at VRTO 2016