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Re: [ontolog-forum] electric sheep

To: Steve Newcomb <srn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 12:28:51 -0500
Message-id: <p0623092ac2fdfe8d4319@[]>
>Sean Barker wrote:
>>      At what level of complexity do I need to start concerning
>>  myself with Semantics rather that just Pragmatics? At what point
>>  would one say the robot "understands concepts", rather than behaves
>>  according to particular pragmatics?
>>      I should add that as we develop increasing complex autonomous
>>  systems, we need to create architectures that provide proper
>>  separation of concerns, so this is primarily a question about
>>  engineering, rather than philosophy.
>Autonomous military systems require significant "separation of
>concerns", especially including separation of the concern for humanity
>as a whole from concern for the success of a narrowly-defined military
>mission.    (01)

It is very unlikely indeed that autonomous military systems will have 
any ability to think about humanity as a whole. I think it likely 
that this is often true for autonomous biological military systems, 
especially when under enemy fire.    (02)

>A robot that fetches claret is amusing, but an autonomous target
>selector/destroyer is monstrous.    (03)

Better get used to the idea. Prototypes are being built as we speak. 
Already there are devices deployed in Iraq which return fire from a 
humvee completely automatically (and with deadly precision.) They can 
extrapolate back to the firing point by listening to the attacking 
bullets. Personally, I have no problem with this, myself.    (04)

>  If we must have such things, then it
>might be a good idea to insist that their behaviors reflect deep
>"concerns" about many things other than their narrowly-defined
>missions.    (05)

Not a chance. The best we can do is to make sure that they are not 
*completely* autonomous, but that human advisors are still in their 
decision loops. This at least passes the buck to something that can 
be prosecuted in a military court, in order to protect its 
commander-in-chief.    (06)

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