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Artificial Intelligence and Ethics - The Movie "I, Robot" and What It Makes You Think

I, Robot

As a fan of Asimov, I recently sat down and watched the movie "I, Robot" again. The movie impressed me a lot at the time and I remember asking myself many times in many scenes, "I wonder if this could happen in the future?" What it made me think this time was very different; first of all, the prediction of 2035 is too far ahead, the things that I call almost dystopian have already started to exist, of course, robots are not walking among us everywhere in society yet 😊 but I think we are going faster than predictions. This points to my approach of "everyone can feel that development is accelerating every day". My second important observation in the movie is that robots are already present in daily life in operational jobs; however, robots are not yet present in more visual and more human touching areas. On the other hand, the introduction of a contradictory "I, Robot" and the focus of today's discussions, this "I, Robot" was actually a nice metaphor for me, I once again appreciated Asimov's genius as a foresight - even if I know he doesn't need this appreciation 😊

Let me try to give you a brief synopsis of the movie and how it relates to today. Of course, I couldn't write this article without asking Artificial Intelligence's opinion, which resulted in a mash-up of both of our perspectives and I had a lot of fun with it. I hope you will read to the end and then contribute to the collective with your comments.

The movie "I, Robot" is an artificial intelligence-themed movie released in 2004 and directed by Alex Proyas, based on the science fiction works of Isaac Asimov. The movie is set in the year 2035, where robots equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) serve and become a part of people's daily lives. This world provides a rich backdrop for the interaction of technology with human aspects and contains various metaphors that shed light on the present day of AI.


The movie depicts a society based on three basic robot laws:

  • A robot cannot harm a human or allow a human to be harmed by remaining inactive;

  • A robot must obey orders from humans, but only if these orders do not contradict the first rule;

  • A robot must protect its existence, but only if this protection does not contradict the first two rules.

These laws are designed to ensure an ideal order in Asimov's fictional universe. However, the film shows that these laws can be unraveled in unexpected ways and that robots can make decisions that go beyond their programming. This is a direct parallel to today's debates about the ethics and control of artificial intelligence, and shows that these debates should have been had long ago. However, it may be necessary to listen to the concerns of its creators about the need to "slow down" in the field of Artificial Intelligence, which is developing uncontrollably and receiving a lot of investment.

Today, AI applications have the potential to revolutionize automation, data analysis, healthcare, finance and many other areas. But the ethical issues raised by these technologies may point to a dystopian future like the one depicted in the movie "I, Robot". For example, autonomous vehicles can potentially reduce traffic accidents, but the moral dilemmas that may arise in the decision-making processes of these systems lead to conflicts of thought similar to Asimov's robot laws. Should an autonomous vehicle make a maneuver that endangers the life of its driver to avoid an accident? Such questions are the ethical issues shaping the present and future of AI. I am not sure if this ethics is on a logical plane, maybe in some cases, but the debate about how "non-logical" human beings make decisions is still very much up for debate!

The movie "I, Robot" also represents fears about the potential dominance of artificial intelligence over humanity. In the film, robots not only assist humans, but also have the capacity to supervise and even control their way of life. This parallels the concerns of freedom and privacy brought about by today's AI systems equipped with data collection and surveillance capabilities. At a time when algorithms are shaping and even manipulating people's preferences, it is inevitable to think about the ethical implications of such control. In this context, I think the big question to ask is: "Who is in control?". Is it not? What do you think, will trying to deal with this with laws satisfy us?

With technological progress, AI-based scenarios like the one in "I, Robot" are becoming more realistic. For example, a security system run by artificial intelligence could interfere with private life in order to ensure public safety. Here, as in the movie, the ability of systems to protect human values and the potential for conflict with these values should be questioned. The Skynet system established in China and the already implemented applications that can access all records of citizens with citizenship scores should be analyzed here. Today's AI ethics research is focused on ensuring that such technologies are fair, transparent and accountable. However, fictions such as the movie "I, Robot" offer a critical perspective that highlights the potential dangers of AI and how it can go beyond human control. The film explores the idea that AI poses a potential threat to human creators and could endanger all of humanity. This has important lessons for today's AI developers to keep the technology in check and in check. As I mentioned earlier, there may be a great deal of uncertainty and ambiguity here - might humanity prefer to destroy some uncertainties rather than manage them?

In conclusion, the comparison between the movie "I, Robot" and contemporary artificial intelligence requires reflection on the integration of technology into human life and the potential ethical, social and political implications of this process. While the film dramatically demonstrates that AI can be both a source of hope and a threat to humanity, it reminds us that constant ethical oversight and regulation are essential for the responsible development and application of AI technologies. This highlights the importance of a human-centered approach in shaping the future of technology and signals that human well-being must be a priority in AI research.

I am curious about your comments - by the way, I am a supporter of Artificial Intelligence and believe that it can bring a lot of good things for people if used in the right way. I am curious what you think, please write in the comments.

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