Being kind to Robots for sake of fellow Humans

Splendid podcast about how humans and AI entities interface – the first segment about how we address AI and behavioral implications thereof, the second about the Center for Applied Rationality and attempts at learning learning how to apply mechanisms gained from developing learning processes in computers to enhance our own operations.

That line leading into Howard’s comments:

“…building on the real sociological research going into the idea we should be nice to robots not for the sake of the robots, but for the sake of fellow humans”

About CFAR’s motivation:

‘Our minds didn’t evolve anything in like the one in which we currently live, and as a result, they are riddled with bad habits…

‘The decisions that matter the most about the future of our civilization involve the kinds of things the human brain didn’t evolve to handle well. So I think the need for some kind of training or practice or techniques to understand what those limitations are to understand the limitations of our brains are become increasingly important.’


  • Don Howard, Notre Dame Professor of Philosophy
  • CFAR – Center for Applied Rationality

A closing thought: how we treat machines I think is very reflective or telling of mankind’s overall take on exploitation or subjugation – matters we are still struggling with, to say the least. The way Cortana was scripted to respond seemed thoughtful, but there is much to consider about the implementation of female-likened AI personalities.

Similarly, how the “primitive” brain is viewed going forward is a matter of concern. I would be curious to talk to CFAR about how they see the development of the emotional part of the brain (Daniel Goleman’s “Emotional Intelligence” work comes to mind); I  hope emotional impulse is not seen as “lesser” or problematic. There is a certain awe inspired from understanding how human brains developed in response to the challenges of the time, particularly being able to interface between so many fields of reference while coordinating vast involuntary systems. General AI isn’t there yet, at all. But yes, as it stands, we seem “unequipped” to deal with what is and what is before us. (Thus New Future Academy was born, of course!)

We shall see how savvy we really are, or, perhaps, if our brains have become too complex and cumbersome, such that our bulkiness undermines our adaptability as the dinosaurs. But then again, some learned to fly – right? –  so we’ll see what the future holds.

  • Jesse

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