The new book on National Security, Technology of Information and Law is out!
ARCAS (the acronym stands for AI-Powered, Computerized Solution for Assault Rifles) reduces the difficulty of a soldier involved in combat in analysing the scenario and making decisions on engaging opponents. It is a system built around the concept of an assault rifle that allows soldiers to identify threats in advance, optimise firing trajectories, lock onto targets and have visual information on the weapon’s operation and interaction with the environment. In addition, the system allows the operator to receive information from the control room and other team members equipped with the same instrument by Andrea Monti – Initially published in Italian by Strategikon – an Italian Tech Blog
An article by Simone Cosimi on Repubblica.it re-sings the old refrain of “the computer is stronger than a human playing chess” in the variant “Go” (which is a Chinese game, but that the journalist qualifies with Japanese terms about a Korean player, despite being the game known and played for centuries in Japan and Korea).
A semantic rigour aside, that a computer – or better, a software, can be “stronger” than a human being – is hardly a news. Everyone who plays chess knows that, having honed their skills with the many programs, some really excellent, available to the general public. As it is hardly a news the fact that the software is so advanced as to put in difficulty professionals or even champions.
But from here, to say – or to suggest – that we are dealing with a system that is more “intelligent” than Man, there is a huge gap. It would be like saying that since a mechanical arm makes perfect welds that no human being can replicate, it should be considered as able to “think”.
The problem, here, is the absence – or rather the disappearance – of the “neuter” genre in the language, because the trick of the narrative about “artificial” intelligence is in the words. Software does neither “learn” or “understand” but simply modifies its functioning at various levels of autonomy. Continue reading ““AI” and the importance of “Neuter””
Words do matter, and that’s not just a philosophical issue.
Smart contracts are not contract, cryptocurrencies are not legal tenders and Artificial Intelligence is very artificial and definitely not intelligent.
A poor understanding of the meaning of the words leads to confuse thinking and negatively affects the lawmaking process
Summary: If you really want to regulate the field of autonomous driving, it would be better to establish – at last – the criminal responsibility of those who produce software and put an end to those shameful clauses of the user licenses that say that “software is as is, and not suitable for use in critical areas”.
Discussing with Prof. Alessandro Cortesi on Linkedin, an interesting debate emerged on the boundaries of legal responsibility for autonomous driving and on the relevance of ethical choices in the instructions to be given to the on-board computer of the vehicle to manage an accident.
Personally, in such a case, I find the use of ethics useless and dangerous.
Ethics is an individual fact which, through the political mediation of representatives of groups that share their own ethics, is translated into legally binding rules. If the State deals personally with ethics, it opens the door to crucifixions, burning and gas chambers.
On the “decision” in case of an accident: it is not the computer that “decides” but the man who programmed it that, (even if only as a possible malice / conscious guilt) takes responsibility for the degrees of autonomy (not decision) left to the software.
It is a fundamental and indispensable point not to transfer the legal consequences of behaviour from people to things.
Automatic driving cannot be allowed in such a way as to violate by default the laws that regulate driviing (conduct which, as it complies with the law, is presumed to be harmless).
The point, if anything, is the management of the extraordinary event (classic pedestrian that suddenly crosses): in this case – once again – the theme is the mal-functioning of the hardware or the bad conception, programming, interaction of the software, neither more nor less than what would happen in case of breakage of another component.
Moreover, when the machine loses control, there is no computer that can oppose the laws of physics.