Invitation: How to Regulate Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies 2.0?

“Our view is that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish by summoning this demon of Artificial Intelligence turbo-charged with Quantum Computing that we thought would become our slave but ended up becoming our master!” - Artificial Intelligence & Quantum Computing: Utopia or Dystopia?  @ Quantum Innovation Labs 

Humanity cannot uninvent the wheel or wings.  Similarly, scientific progress in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies 2.0 cannot and must not be stopped.  However, we do regulate very carefully what dangerous large objects with wheels and/or wings, such as planes, trains and automobiles, can or cannot do.  Human beings undergo training and pass complex tests before they can commandeer such vehicles capable of high speed that may have the ability to injure, maim or kill the pilot, passengers and/or other human beings. The insurance and reinsurance industry calculates risk premiums for each of those risks everyday and the markets decide what level of risk is acceptable for humanity alongside national and international regulations.

Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies 2.0 are adding many new dimensions of asymmetric complexity because human beings will begin to take a back seat via the enabling of these new autonomous technologies.  We will no longer commandeer our cars, our trains or our planes which will increasingly be on auto-pilot.  We will also delegate a number of important functions in our daily lives to self-driven machines.  How to regulate these extra new dimensions of complexity before they may put humanity in peril?

We have been here before.  When the nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, we entered the nuclear holocaust age and via Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) humanity has come close to Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD).  At the international level, the United Nations also created in 1945 to promote international co-operation enabled intra-governmental dialogue thereafter, helping to regulate and to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons via carefully crafted global protocols.

The Bio-Info-Nano (BIN) revolution in regard to biotechnology, genetics, informatics and nanotechnology has also been grappling with some of these critical dimensions of ethics and seeking to regulate the harm that could come to humanity alongside the opportunities unleashed. The jury is still out in terms of the precise progress which may have been made to control and to regulate the bio-info-nano revolution.  There is no national or international regulatory body to date for BIN proliferation.

However, let us remember that Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies 2.0 coupled together are an entirely different ball game because they help to crate autonomous machines that essentially involve humanity surrendering control en masse to machines and depending on them 100% to provide safety and security for a number of vital and everyday tasks.  Regulating and controlling this area is mission critical to the survival of humanity.  Where to begin?

Whilst we are keen to listen to your views, a good set of pointers in this regard are The Three Laws of Robotics, also known as Asimov’s Laws: a set of rules devised by the well known Russia-born American author and professor of bio-chemistry at Boston University, Isaac Asimov. The rules were introduced in his 1942 short story “Runaround”, although they were foreshadowed in a few earlier narratives. The Three Laws, quoted as being from the “Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 AD”, are:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

In later narratives, where robots have taken responsibility for government of whole planets and human civilisations, Asimov also added a fourth, or zeroth law, to precede the others:

0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

So the key principle to regulate Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Quantum Technologies 2.0 (QT2) at the national and international levels ought to be that these three technologies taken together may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

What are your thoughts, observations and views?  We are keen to listen and to learn. Please participate in regard to this vital Socratic dialogue via theQuantum Club iQ:Ei within Quantum Innovation Labs.


Source: Quantum Innovation Labs