Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Stephen Rainey
Practical Ethics
Originally posted February 15, 2018

Here is an excerpt:

Rather than bio-mimetic prostheses, replacement limbs and so on, we can predict that technologies superior to the human body will be developed. Controlled by the brains of users, these enhancements will amount to extensions of the human body, and allow greater projection of human will and intentions in the world. We might imagine a cohort of brain controlled robots carrying out mundane tasks around the home, or buying groceries and so forth, all while the user gets on with something altogether more edifying (or does nothing at all but trigger and control their bots). Maybe a highly skilled, and well-practised, user could control legions of such bots, each carrying out separate tasks.

Before getting too carried away with this line of thought, it’s probably worth getting to the point. The issue worth looking at concerns what happens when things go wrong. It’s one thing to imagine someone sending out a neuro-controlled assassin-bot to kill a rival. Regardless of the unusual route taken, this would be a pretty simple case of causing harm. It would be akin to someone simply assassinating their rival with their own hands. However, it’s another thing to consider how sloppily framing the goal for a bot, such that it ends up causing harm, ought to be parsed.

The blog post is here.