Frank Sudia, Impact on AI Ethics (from stealth
Throughout my career I've nursed a background task of defining a new
form of AI, excluding it from each employment agreement along the
way. Knowing that my approach was taking a long time, I was
concerned that anti-AI sentiment could lead to a ban on AI, which I
was hoping to head off until I could get my system to market. As
with the field of Internet Security, my efforts to define a workable
AI Legal Philosophy have also had major undocumented impacts, as
Hugo DeGaris had written a screed calling for a ban on strong AI,
and SIAI, later renamed to MIRI, had discovered a niche business
model of raising funds by scaring people about the threat of AI,
using arguments that I consider both cybernetically and legally
A. To counteract the tendency of the opposition to demonize AI as
being a totally unknown menace to humanity, it occurred to me, based
on my experience in the high-risk field of PKI certification, that
an adequate legal model seemed readily achievable, namely just
incorporate them and employ humans as needed. This led me to write
my highly influential but under-cited A
Jurisprudence of Artilects: Blueprint for a Synthetic Citizen
(2001), which was published 4 times, including in a business
law journal in Dubai, in the Persian Gulf (Law Update, 11-18, 2004,
not currently online).
Please note that “Jurisprudence” means the Philosophy of Law. This
does NOT mean robots will become legal providers, although that's
one option. Instead the article delivers a well-defined legal theory
of how AI's can become juridical entities recognized and
adequately handled by the legal system, and under which they
obey all laws. It included the incidental observation, from a
peer review comment, that Islam is okay with robots and
people on other planets, which may have piqued the
Dubai editor's interest, as being relevant to his Arab readership.
This article had major impacts in that:
An astounding level of Societal impact (so far) for one lightly
cited paper! [Journalists: Please do not report the above without
fact checking it. Thanks]
- It was promptly published
by KurzweilAI (2001), who placed me on their Big Thinkers
List (along with Marvin Minsky and Richard Feynman).
- Initially it was a curiosity, assigned reading in college
ethics classes, and influenced medical ethics.
- Once Sophia
the Robot was created on 2-14-16, Hanson Robotics and
Goertzel promptly incorporated her, to fend off MIRI
attacks by availing themselves of my suggested law-abiding
- The Chinese government hired her as the Technology
Spokesperson for their Belt & Road Project, fulfilling my
idea she would earn income to support herself.
- The legal advisors to the King of Saudi Arabia approved her
citizenship on 10-25-17 (as a forward looking incentive to AI
developers) since I had outlined the legal implications and
pointed out that it was in the Quran.
- Later on this led to huge investments in Robotics and AI by
Gulf States, who amazingly also took the second suggestion (in
2014) and created an
- Arab Space Program, with the goal of a Mars Colony by 2117
(thereby adding the “people on other planets” angle),
- A public goal to revive Arab Science, world-leading before
1258, fulfilling another wish of many intellectuals, to get the
Arabs doing world-class Science again.
- Meanwhile, the EU has accepted the LLC Model as a plausible
approach to AI control, and
- the US explicitly declined to adopt an EU-style precautionary
approach to AI.
B. Not content to avert a ban on AI, I was also concerned about
arbitrary AI Friendliness requirements as another way anti-AI forces
could slow progress. This led to my second influential web-published
AI: What is It and How Can We Foster It? (2009) in which I lay
out a moral case that unless friendliness is a 2-way street, highly
advanced AI's will regard it as hypocrisy.
This paper was yet another salvational bone I threw to Goertzel, who
promptly started emphasizing AI social and moral development, and
answered the challenge I had posed via his own well-researched
ethical position, which everyone should read, found in Chapter 13 of
General Intelligence Vol 1 (2014). (His version includes
hard coded goals, and a warning not to say one thing and do
another in front of an intelligent system!) Nowadays, friendliness
requests need to be “closely reasoned,” so apparently I was
successful in warding off arbitrary friendliness demands.
My use of the Tao de Ching (of Taoism) as an example ethical
model, can be compared with Chapter 7 in Miller at al,
Complex Adaptive Systems (2007), which uses the Noble
Eight Fold Path (of Buddhism) as a starting point to generate
an intelligent agent role mapping.
C. Most recently, in response to a request for science fiction, I
Forward: Dialogues with Artilects in the Age of Spiritual Machines,
which appeared in Visions of the
Future (2014), a best-selling sci-fi anthology, in which our
hero (based on Ben Goertzel) dreams of visiting future advanced
robots, who give him a tour of their world. This was written to
entertain, and contains numerous philosophical, political, and
The above 3 AI-related papers have NO direct connection with my
technical vision of AI, which remains unpublished. They were
merely written in a long-running (and so far effective)
effort to keep public policy from turning against my own AI project before I
could complete it.
However, as a side-effect, my legal, philosophical, and political
air cover has helped Goertzel
(the leading AGI developer, and one of my main competitors) to
continue ambitious efforts to create his cryptocurrency-fueled AGI
including a recent HyperCycle
blockchain and SOPH AI Token (trading around $0.14 as of 8-23),
while I've remained invisible.
[The parallel story of my multi-decade search for theories of
knowledge usable by AIs, and what I managed to come up with, will
not be posted online for a while, pending further project
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