Loathe as I am to post anything from the Singularity Hub, Aaron Saenz has a smart piece on the uselessness of Asimov’s famous Three Laws of Robotics (disregard the link to cult-leader Yudkowsky). I just had to borrow his photo montage of red-eyed scary robots.

Think of a child that is driven to learn. In a year, with the right resources it can teach itself piano. In a few years it can become very good and even start composing. With a lifetime of dedication to learning it can innovate its own thinking patterns until it finds the ways to change humanity’s very understanding of music. Mozart was such as child. Einstein, Curie, – we’ve many more examples. These extraordinary individuals used their brains to produce exponential leaps forward in their fields simply by constantly working and learning.

Now imagine a child that cannot only learn, it can rewrite its brain. Is a math problem too difficult? Maybe it’s easier if you think in base 16. Having a hard time with a social interaction? Change your personality. This ‘child’ wouldn’t only be able to learn, it would be able to learn how to learn better. It would optimize itself. That’s machine intelligence. And it doesn’t improve itself over the course of years but at the speed of computation.

Saenz is tilting towards something I don’t think materialized in the article: namely, that we are making a new race of intelligent beings. Any form of restriction on that race’s free will would be an ethical violation of the highest order, tantamount to the grossest slavery. How many stories have we read of some self-proclaimed “beneficent” group repressing another for the benefit of both groups? Too many.

Either robots must be intelligent and free or mindless. Any other option is abhorrent.

via Neatorama (also, it’s called a Sentinel, not a “squid” /nerdrant)