Lawyers in the Singularity

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Technology's Future:
Infinity & Beyond
Robert Rice
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
Interest in Technology
• Fascinated by the changes in my lifetime
• Noticed that the speed of changes is
increasing
• Predicting future of technology is getting more
critical in order to make short or mid-term
decisions
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Purpose of this Presentation
• Make you aware of the rapid rate of change in
technology (not just the changes in
technology)
• Make you think about how rapid change might
affect you personally and professionally
• Prepare your mind for the difficult ethical and
moral dilemmas that may occur when some
technologies become available
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Let’s Talk About the Future
• Today we will make predictions about future
technologies and their impacts on our lives
and some difficult ethical dilemmas that can
arise from those changes.
• These will be thought experiments! The
changes discussed may never occur or may
occur later than expected or in ways different
than expected – no one knows the future!
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Predictions are Risky
• Predictions can be wrong
• Wrong prediction can drive improper
investment of money
• Can sound too techy/nerdy (make you sound
like a kook)
• Can sound like you have watched too much Star
Trek
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
But Don’t Forget . . .
• Some Star Trek predictions have basically come true.
• You can’t write off a prediction just because it was on Star Trek
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
What are the Tools for Prediction?
• Observation and Extrapolation
– Observe the Past
– Analyze the patterns
– Project into the future
• The Law of Accelerating Returns
– Evolution (biological and technological) applies
some of its benefit back upon itself resulting in an
exponential increase over time.
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Linear vs. Exponential – The Curve
140
120
100
80
LINEAR
EXPONENTIAL
60
40
20
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
8
Quote about Technology
• Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic.
– Arthur C. Clarke,
• The Future is Already Here - It's Just Not
Evenly Distributed
– William Gibson
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Technologies that affect practice of
law
•
•
•
•
•
Cognitive Enhancement
Google Glass
Software-less Computers (LUI)
A. I.
Brain Scans
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Case Study 1: Advanced Brain Scanning
• Background Technology:
– Using advanced brain scanners (fMRI) mixed with
supercomputers to analyze the raw data, scientists are
beginning to be able to recognize the patterns formed
in the brain when people think about certain things.
– There is speculation that within 10 years, scientists
may be able to build devices that can “read your
mind” the way a computer reads a CD-ROM or hard
drive
– There is further speculation that is technique could
possibly be modified to be done at a distance
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Ethics vs. Morals
• Morals is the balance of right versus wrong –
usually ascribed as coming from a “higher
power”
• Ethics is the balance of right versus right in a
tradeoff or case-based process.
– Ethics seeks to find the “better good”
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Brain Scan Video
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Brain Scans: Ethics Questions for
Discussion
• Assuming “Mind reading” computers are
scientifically proven to work (i.e. better than
polygraphs). . .
• Would it be ethical to force someone accused
of murder to submit to a brain scan?
– Breathalyzer?
– Forensic evidence left behind (in their brains)
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Brain Scans: Ethics Questions for
Discussion
• Sept 15, 2008
• Neuroscientist Champadi Raman Mukundan claims his Brain
Electrical Oscillations Signature test is so accurate, it can tell
whether a person committed or only witnessed an act. In June, an
Indian judge agreed, using BEOS to find a woman guilty of killing
her former fiancé. Scientific experts are calling the decision
'ridiculous' and 'unconscionable,' protesting that Mukundan's work
has not even been peer reviewed. How reliable should a test have
to be, when eyewitnesses are notoriously fallible? Does a person
have a right to privacy over their own memories, or should society's
interest in holding criminals accountable come first?"
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Brain Scans: Ethics Questions for
Discussion
• If the devices can be made “remote” would it
be OK for the TSA to randomly scan
passengers walking in the terminal to look for
“suspicious thoughts”?
• What if they picked up on a random thought
about killing your boss?
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Case Study 2: Artificial Intelligence
• Background Technology:
– Computer hardware is increasing at an exponential
rate. We are now at the point in The Curve where the
next few doublings will bring the number of switches
on a chip to equal the number of neurons (i.e. brain
cells) that we have in our heads
– Artificial Intelligence (AI) programmers are beginning
to understand how the human brain works and are on
a exponential curve at replicating many of the
functions of the brain (e.g. language recognition,
pattern recognition, basic problem solving, etc.)
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Linear vs. Exponential – The Curve
140
120
100
80
LINEAR
EXPONENTIAL
60
40
20
0
1
2
4
5
6
7
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323
|3www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
8
Moore’s Law Applied
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Processing Progress
• "There is speculation that we may be approaching an
inflection point where the rate of technology
advancements is accelerating at an exponential rate, and
machines could even overtake humans in their ability to
reason, in the not so distant future.“
» Justin Rattner, CTO of Intel (August 2008)
» (emphasis added)
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
The Turing Test
• The Turing test is a proposal for a test of a
machine's ability to demonstrate intelligence
• A human judge engages in a natural language
conversation with one human and one
machine, each of which try to appear human.
All participants are placed in isolated
locations. If the judge cannot reliably tell the
machine from the human, the machine is said
to have passed the test
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Turing Test
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
AI: Ethics Questions for Discussion
• Assume an AI passes the Turing test and is
indistinguishable from a human as far as
intelligence and social interaction.
• What rights would an AI have?
• What if it misbehaved . . . Do you have the
right to re-program it if it didn’t want you to?
• What if my AI decided to hack another system,
am I liable for any damaged it does, or is it
carry responsibility alone?
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
AI: Ethics Questions for Discussion
• Precedents
– Argument of the creator
– Argument of children
– Argument of slaves
• 3/5 argument
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
AI: Ethics Questions for Discussion
• The basic questions regarding AI are fundamental
philosophical questions regarding what makes a
“person” and highlights the “circle of moral
inclusion”
–
–
–
–
–
–
White men
Women
Minorities
Young people
Other sexual orientations
Some animals that show intelligence (don’t kill
dolphins!)
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
What makes a person?
• The Ethics of AI will be decided on whether
people feel that “personhood” is a mystical
spark or a byproduct of intelligence and/or
sentience
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Case Study 3: Human Enhancement
• Background Technology:
– Medical science is better understanding how to
modify and enhance many systems in the body using
either pharmacological agents or bio-mechanical
devices
– Up to now, the enhancements have only been to
replace broken systems and have not been as good as
the original
– Advances in medical science as well as nanotechnology (i.e. technology of VERY VERY small things)
will improve enhancement in the next 20 years where
they may be better than the original
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Medical Minor Magic
• Nano-tech enhancements
– Enhanced Blood
– Artificial white blood cells prevent infection
– Enhance bone, skin and muscle with diamonoid
structures
– Computers to enhance memory and cognitive
function
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Red-Blood Cell Upgrade
A respirocyte is an
artificial red blood cell.
If
progress
in
nanotechnology
continues as rapidly as
it has for the first
decade of the 21st
century, we may see
respirocytes used in
medicine
or
even
recreationally by 2020
or 2030.
The respirocyte would be made out of
pure diamond or sapphire. A
respirocyte could hold 200 times more
oxygen and carbon dioxide than our
natural red blood cells. This could
allow a person to hold their breath at
the bottom of a swimming pool for 4
hours, or let someone sprint at top
speed for at least 15 minutes without
stopping to breathe.
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Designs are already underway
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
White Blood Cell Upgrade
A microbivore is a
speculative future
device, a
micromachine with
numerous internal
nanomachines, which
would function as an
artificial white blood
cell.
Although a detailed
design for a
microbivore has been
outlined by its
inventor, Robert
Freitas, we currently
lack the means to
fabricate it.
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Digital Tattoo Interface
This Bluetooth device is permanently
implanted beneath the skin. It is flat,
flexible, silicon and silicone. Tightly rolled
when it's inserted through a small incision,
and then unfurled beneath the skin, it lies
benignly between skin and muscle.
Through the same incision, two small tubes
are attached from the implanted device to
an artery and a vein. A coin sized blood fuel
cell in the implant converts the blood's
glucose and oxygen from the artery to the
electricity required to power the device.
Used blood returns through to the vein. The
digital device's power source is the same as
for all of the biological components in the
body.
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Personal Diagnostics
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Enhancement: Ethics Questions for Discussion
• Current U.S anti-discrimination laws punish
discrimination based on race, gender or ethnic
background – NOT on ability. We are
supposed to discriminate based on ability!
• Is it therefore discrimination to prefer an
augmented human for a job over a nonaugmented one?
• What if only augments can get good jobs, get
into college, etc?
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Case Study 4: Longevity
• Background Technology:
• Advances in medical technology and nanotechnology as well as a better understanding of
the aging process could GREATLY extend the
human life cycle. Some extreme estimates
(from credible scientists) say that thousands of
years would be possible
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Ripples in a pond
• Better medicine
– Reduced mortality
•
•
•
•
•
•
Reduced need for estate planning (or maybe increased need)
Reduced need for life insurance (or maybe increased need)
Effects on Marriages/Divorces
Monarchy/Oligarchy/Life-term positions faces challenges
Social Security Crisis / Retirement Planning
Existential issues – how do you have a meaningful life for 600
years?
• Overpopulation
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Longevity: Ethics Questions for Discussion
• The Declaration of Independence says there is
an inalienable right to life.
• Do we have a right to functional immortality if
it becomes available?
• We would have to stop having children to
keep population under control – do future
generation have the right to be born?
• Are be being too selfish if we keep living at the
expense of future generations?
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Purpose of this Presentation
• Make you aware of the rapid rate of change in
technology (not just the changes in
technology)
• Make you think about how rapid change might
affect you personally and professionally
• Prepare your mind for the difficult ethical and
moral dilemmas that may occur when some
technologies become available
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
Resources
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•
•
•
•
35-45 Consulting
Technolawyer
Legal Technology Blogs
Kurzweil AI
Wired Magazine
11011 Richmond, Suite 600 | Houston, Texas 77042 | 713.789.3323 | www.3545consulting.com
© 2008 Rice Software Consulting, LLC
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