Bioethics and Ethics in Artificial Intelligence

Bioethics and Ethics in Artificial Intelligence

Annotated Bibliography

Kakalios, J. (2010). Section 1: Tales to Astonish. In J. Kakalios, The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World (pp. 3-50). East Rutherford, NJ: Gotham/Penguin Books.

In the first section of his popular book, The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics, Kakalios presents an overview of how quantum mechanics works in the modern day-to-day life. The author promises to provide light explanations of quantum mechanics, a really complex science subject in physics. Kakalios opens his book with speculative science fiction, drawing from comics and adventure books of the 1950s and 60s both to show how the contemporary media predicted a revolution in the field of quantum mechanics and how the field applied to daily life. Kakalios notes that before quantum mechanics, it was predicted that even objects at room temperature emit ultraviolet light energy. The author finds this prediction really ridiculous. In Chapter Two: Photons at the Beach, Kakalios uses cartoon sketches of pebbles on a beach and explains that in the past, it was explained that they were pushed by either ocean waves or photon bullets, another point he finds very ridiculous. The author also explains that in the 1960s, comics predicted a future in which people would travel in garbage cans using levitation by magnetism. Kakalios explains that in the 1950s and 60s, fiction predicted a revolution in energy to power many things, including flying cars and ray guns.

James Kakalios, a professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota, was a great fan of science fiction during his younger years in the 1950s and 60s. The author spent his childhood in a world of fictional scientific utopia, flying cars, robotic assistants, and jetpacks. He went on to earn his PhD in 1985, and has lived in an era of unimagined scientific revolution from the invention of the computer until it was reduced to a pocket-size gadget and quantum mechanics used to develop magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, luminescent materials, and solid-state memory storage devices. Kakalios has not only seen but also experienced the revolution of science as powered by quantum mechanics. The examples used in the book, however, are hard to comprehend for young people because they did not experience them like Kakalios did. The author could have perhaps included some modern science fiction that modern learners can identify with.

Though Kakalios promises a light overview of quantum mechanics, it is not as simple as one would expect. The text is deep, and some parts require more research to understand. In addition, except for the implication that what was predicted in the pulp era is not what has happened in science, there is no other link between this section and artificial science. For this reason, this section is not very useful in the discussion of ethics and artificial intelligence.

 

Kakalios, J. (2010). Chapter six: The equation that made the future! In The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World (pp. 64-73). East Rutherford, NJ: Gotham/Penguin Books.

According to Kakalios, the “equation that made the future” is the Schrödinger equation formulated in the 1920s by Erwin Schrodinger, an Austrian physicist. Kakalios explains that the Schrodinger equation explains how the quantum state of a system changes with time based on the interactions of atoms. The author explains that this equation laid the foundation for quantum mechanics and has been the most important equation in the field so far. Kakalios elucidates the Schrodinger equation through a cartoon sketch of the quantum state of a physical system represented by seats arranged in a lecture hall. The author explains that according to the Schrödinger equation, positively charged electrons would be at the front of the lecture hall, but after releasing or absorbing energy, they would move from one row to another. Kakalios maintains that all developments in modern quantum mechanics have been based on the all-important Schrödinger equation.

On the cover of his book, Kakalios promises that it is a ‘math-free exploration’, but the book is not entirely math-free. In this chapter, the author explains that quantum mechanics is based on the Schrodinger equation, but that is about all the average student can understand. How the Schrodinger Equation exactly forms the basis of quantum mechanics is hard to understand and requires further, deep research.

The Schrödinger equation may be the foundation of quantum mechanics, but it is difficult to find the link between the equation and artificial intelligence. Until the equation is fully understood, students will find this chapter unimportant for discussion of artificial intelligence. Students should understand how the equation is derived as well as how to apply it in quantum mechanics to be able to use it.

 

Kakalios, J. (2010). Chapter Seven: The uncertainty principle made easy. In The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World (pp. 74-84). East Rutherford, NJ: Gotham/Penguin Books.

In this chapter, Kakalios explains the uncertainty principle developed in 1927 by Werner Heisenberg, a German Physicist. The author uses this principle to explain how the position or location and momentum of an electron can be explained. He uses two de Broglie wave curves of an electron to explain how the uncertainty principle works. Kakalios explains that with only one wavelength, the momentum of an electron would be easy to determine, but the location would not be determined. On the other hand, when different waves with different wavelengths are used, the uncertainty of the spatial position of the electron is reduced, and the uncertainty of its momentum increased.

This is one of the chapters in Kakalios book that involve the use of high-level mathematics. However, the author really simplifies the complex uncertainty principle and makes it easy to understand. Nevertheless, he does not explain well how to apply this principle in quantum mechanics. The approaches that the Kakalios describes the mathematical calculation of particle behavior and the interactions of matter and energy make the uncertainty principle seem more complex.

A complete understanding of the uncertainty principle is required to be able to use it. Since such a comprehension of the principle is not achieved from this chapter of Kakalios book, the resource is not very useful in research on bioethics and artificial intelligence.

 

Kakalios, J. (2010). Section 4: Weird science stories. In The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World (pp. 141-155). East Rutherford, NJ: Gotham/Penguin Books.

This section of Kakalios book contains only two chapters: Chapter 12: Every Man for Himself and Chapter 13: All for One and One for All. In this section, the author explores how some comic stories apply quantum mechanics. The author applies quantum mechanics knowledge to critique comics and show how weird their stories are. One of the weird stories discussed in this section is about the X- Men, who divide and fight each other after a cure is found to cure the mutations that have made them superheroes. Kakalios refers to Magneto, the X-Men character, as a ‘mutant master of magnetism’ but questions the science behind his powers. The author explains that Magneto’s control over magnetism is weird because during the times he uses it, ions would repel each other making it impossible to manage an electromagnetic field as he does. Kakalios explains in the Watchmen in the 1980s, Dr. Manhattan could change his size at will because it is possible to spin 11/2 electrons according to the Schrodinger equation. The author notes that as opposed to modern comics, in the pulp era, superheroes stood for all people instead of fighting for themselves.

Kakalios demonstrates his deep knowledge of quantum mechanics by applying principles from the field to analyze comic stories. The author reviews how comic stories have changed from the pulp era to the 21st century. His discussion implies that the society has developed towards a dispensation in which science can be used to create factions baying for each other’s blood. Given that Kakalios uses comics as predictions of future revolutions in science and quantum mechanics, this section can be used to predict that in the future, quantum mechanics will be applied to gain biological power.

The transition of comic stories, as described by Kakalios, can be used to depict a deeper revolution of ethics in the society. This section of Kakalios’ book can be used in research on ethics and artificial intelligence to explore the theme of whether artificial intelligence is a threat to man. This section can be applied to show that human beings may use developments in science to harm humanity, however, the causal inference between the society and quantum mechanics is not adequately strong and requires further research.

 

 

 

Kakalios, J. (2010). Chapter twenty-one: Seriously, where’s my jet pack? In The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World (pp. 249-260). East Rutherford, NJ: Gotham/Penguin Books.

In this chapter, Kakalios draws on pulp fiction discussed at the start of his book to explain that the expectations laid out through comics several decades ago have terribly failed. The author notes that science fiction in the 1950s and 60s promised such a bright future with a lot of leisure, but this has been impossible. He notes that the greatest drawback is the fact that it is still impossible to produce sufficient energy in the real world to power a jet-pack in the sky for several hours. The author explains that quantum mechanics has failed to produce small, lightweight batteries that can power people into the sky. Kakalios does not rule out such an achievement in the future, and he notes that quantum mechanics will continue to have accretionary growth.

This chapter of Kakalios’ book presents the reality of quantum mechanics by reporting the real situation not as it is depicted in comic books. The author explains that though science fiction promised a revolution in energy to enable major inventions such as jet packs, all the world has had is a revolution in information technology, which has led to significant developments too. As the last chapter in Kakalios’ book, preceding the afterword, the author sums up his discussion pretty well be showing that though quantum mechanics has not had its expected impact on the society, it has had significant impact, and it will still grow.

This chapter can be used in research on ethics and artificial intelligence to prove that artificial intelligence will grow gradually. Kakalios’ observation that man has not been able to find a breakthrough for six decades to produce high amounts of energy using small, lightweight materials indicates that growth in science fiction is very gradual. This can be used to counter the common claim that man will develop artificial intelligence so fast such that it will have a negative impact on humanity.

 

Hayles, K. N. (1999). Conclusion: What does it mean to be posthuman? In How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics (pp. 283-291). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

In her conclusion to her masterpiece book titled How We Became Posthuman, Hayles (1999) seeks to clarify the conceptualization of the ‘posthuman state’. The author reviews tensions in attempts to understand the modern state of man in the height of technology use and the invention of transformative technologies that challenge the traditional cultural configurations. Hayles, for example, notes that man is viewed as a danger to humanity because he has created machines that have more abilities and is seeking to replicate or copy the human mind into a computerized system. The author notes that the posthuman is most likely to be perceived as antihuman because it envisions the conscious human mind as a small subsystem that runs a program of self-construction while ignoring the dynamics of complex systems. Hayles allays fears by noting that the posthuman does not threaten to apocalyptically end humanity but signals the end of the conception of human beings as autonomous beings who exercise will through individual liberty and agency. The author also notes that in the posthuman view, humans have never been autonomous actors, and machines do not usurp the human responsibility to control the environment. In essence, to be posthuman, according to Hayles, means to relinquish the assumption of power to dominate the world and to work collaboratively with the intelligent machines we have built.

Hayle’s conclusion presents an intelligent conceptualization of the new dispensation and how man will relate to machines in post-modernity. In this conclusion, I agree strongly with two of Hayle’s premises. One of these premises is that man need not be perceived as a self-destructive species. Though man has created many machines that harm human life, though artificial intelligence, man’s creation, is perceived as a threat to human beings, man is not anti-human. All that people have done in science has been in the interests of man, and a shift in the balance of power to make machines dominant over mankind in a harmful way is unlikely. Secondly, I strongly agree with Hayles that in this post-modern era, man is no longer in dominant control over the world; rather, human beings work collaboratively with artificial intelligence, but human beings still have the advantage of free will and ability to think while machines only process information. The author would, however, significantly improved the text if she included a discussion of the growing dependence of human beings on artificial intelligence.

Hayle’s conclusion chapter is an important contribution to research on ethics and artificial intelligence. Students should find this chapter valuable in discussing what being posthuman means and in the examination of the relationship between man and artificial intelligence. In addition, this text is also important in the discussion of the threat of artificial intelligence to man. Notably, Hayles allays fears that artificial intelligence is threatening man.

 

 

References

Hayles, K. N. (1999). Conclusion: What does it mean to be posthuman? In How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics (pp. 283-291). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Kakalios, J. (2010). Chapter Seven: The uncertainty principle made easy. In The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World (pp. 74-84). East Rutherford, NJ: Gotham/Penguin Books.

Kakalios, J. (2010). Chapter six: The equation that made the future! In The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World (pp. 64-73). East Rutherford, NJ: Gotham/Penguin Books.

Kakalios, J. (2010). Chapter twenty-one: Seriously, where’s my jet pack? In The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World (pp. 249-260). East Rutherford, NJ: Gotham/Penguin Books.

Kakalios, J. (2010). Section 1: Tales to Astonish. In J. Kakalios, The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World (pp. 3-50). East Rutherford, NJ: Gotham/Penguin Books.

Kakalios, J. (2010). Section 4: Weird science stories. In The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our World (pp. 141-155). East Rutherford, NJ: Gotham/Penguin Books.

 

 

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