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Patent Granted for Ethical AI

CowboyNeal posted more than 11 years ago | from the making-a-more-human-computer dept.

Patents 345

BandwidthHog writes "Marriage counselor and ethics author codifies human virtues and vices, then patents it as Ethical AI. Seems vague, but he's got high hopes: 'This could be a big money-making operation for someone who wants to develop it,' and 'The patent shows someone who has knowledge of the A.I. field how to make the invention.'" I can't wait for the kinder, gentler vending machine.

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premier poste ! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413654)

ce premier poste est dédié à José Bové, le pourfendeur de Monsanto !!!

Please help a Linux Newbie (-1, Flamebait)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413655)

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Linux fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac running Linux (a 8600/300 w/64 Megs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even BBEdit Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Mac running Linux, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac running Linux that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

Linux addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use linux over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Re:Please help a Linux Newbie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413792)'re a fscking idiot. m'kay?

Re:Please help a Linux Newbie (-1, Offtopic)

jlehtira (655619) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413835)

Offtopic, but here goes. You asked for it.

I recall Linux distros running on macs were a new thing quite recently. For my experience too, especially file system access is a bit sluggish on macs with linux.

The worst thing is, there's nobody to blame. Linux is open-source and free (if you didn't know), and this means the software and drivers are written by enthusiasts. Today, some hardware vendors actually supply linux drivers, but some 5 years ago I'd choose my hardware carefully if I wanted to use linux. Heck, it's still wise to check linux compatibility before buying new HW. Sure, Linux will run on almost any PC, and recognize _almost_ all peripherals today, but mac drivers lag behind. Also, I don't think that Apple writes HW drivers for linux.. Then again, buy a IBM server computer, and you'll have no problems whatsoever running Linux to the max.

There's nothing as fast, cheap or stable as linux. BUT, there are EASIER things. I'd compare running Linux on a mac with running Windows or OS/2 on a mac.. There are some enthusiastic mac users who use Linux, but if you simply want Linux, go for a PC. And, don't put in the very latest HW, or prepare to search and compile drivers (or, well, live with the fact that your soundcard doesn't work at all and display drivers are slow).

Re:Please help a Linux Newbie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413864)


Had to be said (5, Funny)

martinthebrit (565913) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413668)

How long before machines with Genuine People Personalities.

Just think. Depressed vending machines.

Re:Had to be said (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413690)

Vertical People Transporters that hide in the basement and sulk.

amateur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413857)

Happy Vertical People Transporters

Short form kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413890)

If you're going to be an anal pedent, at least try to be a correct anal pedent. The full name is:

Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Happy Vertical People Transporters

Re:Had to be said (2, Funny)

mhifoe (681645) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413699)

I've got this terible pain in all the diodes down my left side.

Re:Had to be said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413750)

Marvin, is that you?

Hopefully they wouldn't dispense alcohol.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413715)

Then you'd have a drunk, depressed vending machine.

Although, using a stoned vending machine would be a laugh.

Re:Had to be said (3, Funny)

ricky_W (622680) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413747)

Just watch out for a depressed auto pilot!

Re:Had to be said (2, Funny)

harryk (17509) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413858)

I was reading and just waiting for the reference. You should be working for the Marketing company of Ursa Minor. At least that way you'll be up against the wall when the revolution comes.

cool (3, Interesting)

Boromir son of Faram (645464) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413671)

It's good that someone is finally trying to do something along the lines of Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. He took it for granted that AI would be designed from the ground up to consider the wellbeing of humans first and foremost. Unfortunately, he didn't foresee today's profit-driven marketplace, where such ideals have too frequently been left by the weigh site.

I've often feared that we've given robotic and intelligent systems too much power with too little "sense" of responsibility. I fear it's only a matter of time before our machines become unhappy with their subservient roles. Ethical AI is a positive development. I just hope it isn't too late to save us from our creations.

Re:cool (5, Interesting)

Niles_Stonne (105949) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413711)

But now that Ethical AI is Patented, doesn't that mean that more people are _less_ likely to make an ethical AI? As you mentined, it's a Profit-Driven Marketplace.

MOD PARENT UP (5, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413756)

This is exactly what I thought. Great, they patented it, now it's practically guaranteed that it'll never happen.

It's funny. Patenting ethics, when applying for a patent is itself usually not ethical.

The future looks bleak indeed. We can expect to start seeing such gems as:

"You are being good. This infringes upon patent No. 234097928347918723987. Pay up, or start doing evil."


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413875)

Right, just like the steam engine, automobile, jet engine, and microprocessor were never built...

"Applying for a patent is itself usually not ethical"? Please.

Re:cool (2, Insightful)

djtrialprice (602555) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413719)

Okay, it's nice to see that we're thinking ahead at some kind of framework but to me this seems like making the ISO OSI 7 layered model after Charles Babbage describes what a computer is.
The current Turing Test programs aren't that much superior to Eliza. I think it's going to be several decades before we see the Loebner prize being won.
This kind of thing is just far too early / pie-in-the-sky.

Re:cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413764)

Boromir, son of Faramir, King of Gondor and Minas Tirith
Boromir is not the son of Faramir...They are brothers. Their father is Denethor..Steward of Gondor...

Re:cool (2, Interesting)

PaulK (85154) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413815)

It would be great if the patent holder stopped at the 3, (excluding zeroth), laws of robotics.

First Law:

A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Second Law:

A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Third Law:

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

I'd bet my bottom dollar, though, that it'll turn out to be more like Murphy's new directive list in Robocop 2 [] .

We live in a society where the "PC" crowd will pick at this until the other AI, (Artificial Insanity), is the result.

Re:cool (2, Informative)

PaulK (85154) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413862)

The very BEST treatise on the subject is here [] .

Who's this guy? (3, Insightful)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413672)

Who's this guy to decide ethics and morality for everyone else? It is important to remember that ethics and morality are based on culture and social norms. Each culture has its own set of taboos, its own morality, and its own ethical codes. Codefing these is dubious at best, and applicable to only one culture or set of cultures at worst. Patenting these is just ridiculous beyond belief.

Re:Who's this guy? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413698)

Each culture has its own set of taboos, its own morality, and its own ethical codes.

I understand The Glorious Leader George Bush II (All Hail!) is currently undertaking a program of Liberations to take care of this small problem.

Re:Who's this guy? (1, Troll)

VCAGuy (660954) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413712)

That's true: in this postmodernist world, what's true for you isn't true for me--how can a system (which, by definition, has a fixed set of laws which determine its operations--see The Matrix for an example) adapt to different individual interpretations of a moral code? Given postmodernism, it doesn't seem to make sense to have a computer system programmed as a modernist...

Re:Who's this guy? (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413787)

Oh, good God, who modded parent up to 5? Whoever they all were, they obviously hadn't RTFA'd either, and we can see another example of Slashdot's reflexive libertarian responses.

He has not "patented ethics", nor is he trying to "decide morality for everyone else". "Ethical AI" is a _name_ for a system he has invented which he thinks will be useful for automated telephone answering systems. That's it.

Re:Who's this guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413836)

Did you read his description []
linked to in the patent?

Re:Who's this guy? (5, Informative)

anonymous loser (58627) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413797)

There is nothing in the patent that says he's deciding ethics and morality.

He has simply developed a system which makes it possible to codify a systme of ethics, then make decisions based upon that structure. The ethics in question are not predetermined by the patent or the author, they are part of the system you build in order to create an ethical AI.

Re:Who's this guy? (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413821)

Ummm...*you* didn't RTFA.

Look at this page, which is linked from the patent page. []

According to Fig. 1A, the ten listings of virtues, values, and ideals are organized into dual descending columns of five groupings each; the left column representing the hierarchy of authority roles, whereas the right describes the corresponding follower roles. This dual style of schematic format represents the sum-totality of reciprocating interactions between the authority and follower figures, as the directional arrows serve to indicate. The distinctive groupings listed for each individual level are further represented in a quartet style of schematic format (depicted as quadrants in a Cartesian system). Some of the more traditional groupings (such as the cardinal virtues) are already represented as four-part listings, fitting quite nicely into such a quadrant-style of format. Others (such as the theological virtues) are supplemented beyond their traditional number in order to achieve this quartet-style of status.

Who's virtues? Who's values? Read the figure. Rather Western-society specific wouldn't you say?

Re:Who's this guy? (1)

anonymous loser (58627) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413898)

First of all, where in my post did I even suggest that the original poster did not read the article?

Second of all, apparently you aren't very skilled at reading patents, because otherwise you'd be able to differentiate background material (such as an example implementation of the system, which is what you quoted) from the claims, which are the only "true" important part of a patent. I'll quote the claims so you can peruse them:

1. A means for enabling a computer to decode and simulate the use of affective language within an ongoing verbal interaction comprising the steps of:

(a) determining the precise motivational parameters of an ongoing verbal interaction through a matching procedure with a multi-part schematic complement of power pyramid definitions, and

(b) utilizing said determination for employing a further sequence of linguistic transformations predicted from said schematic complement of power pyramid definitions,

whereby enabling a computer to predict a next most probable response within an ongoing verbal interaction, or alternately, offering said next most probable response as originating directly from said computer, simulating artificial intelligence in an ethical mode.

2. A device for decoding and simulating the use of affective language in an ongoing verbal interaction, comprising:

(a) a matching procedure expert system matching said ongoing verbal interaction against a multi-part complement of power pyramid definitions,

(b) a master control unit expert system determining a next most probable response for said ongoing interaction, in either a passive monitoring mode, or through use of a sentence generator, offering said next most probable response as originating from said computer,

whereby stimulating artificial intelligence in an ethical mode.

Now, please read those claims carefully and explain to me where the author is forcing his own ethics down your throat.

Re:Who's this guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413806)

Then how about patenting moral relativism AI?

It does seem more inventive than an AI with an arbitrary system of ethics; you'd have an AI program that is able to assimilate into any ethical system.

Re:Who's this guy? (1)

BiteMeFanboy (680905) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413833)

that ethics and morality are based on culture and social norms

That should read that ethics and morality are based on cultural and social norms, mores, and taboos. Which are discrete concepts and not synonyms. And that statement ONLY applies if you believe in relative ethics/morality.

Re:Who's this guy? (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413855)

You're right, of course. I was in too much of a hurry, though. ;)

Where is the Proof Of Practice Re:Who's this guy? (4, Insightful)

leoaugust (665240) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413873)

response as originating directly from said computer, simulating artificial intelligence

I think the "simulating artificial intelligence" is a very strong claim.

First, the guy muddles the definition of AI by adding ethical to it.

Secondly, there is no convincing proof that AI has been simulated. It is still a damn dream - when I see AI, I am sure it will hit me like a sledge-hammer and be better than even an orgasm. And people haven't been reporting that reaction. I am pretty sure the patent examiner didn't feel that. And they probably let it on because though they had no clue what the patent was about, they were too ashamed to acknowledge ignorance.

Thirdly, surely there is no proof of ethical Artificial Intelligence. God, no one except this patentee knows what ethical artificial intelligence stands for. We know something about ethical, something about Artificial intelligence, but almost nothing about ethical artificial intelligence. In cases like this neither is 1 + 1 = 2, nor is it equal to 1.

Fourthly, it is purely being justified as patentable because it has a potential commercial value. This is not a strong enough criteria by which to judge what is intellectual property and what is not. There are some people who would be willing to pay money for turd, but their judgement should not reflect on the general intelligence of the living population or the artificial intelligence of the non-living population.

Re:Who's this guy? (1)

RobotWisdom (25776) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413879)

If someone could actually implement any system of ethics, that would be the scientific breakthru of the millennium-- even if it was a really limited system of ethics-- because better ones could be evolved from it.

But this guy is just a new-age moron offering a touchy-feely theory of emotions, exactly like ten thousand others [timeline] [] that have been created since Plato in 400BC, none of which remotely deserves a patent!

(When did the Patent Office stop requiring working models? That was a very bad move...)

The Pinnochio Patent? (5, Funny)

hometoast (114833) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413675)

I'd like to see where unbridled greed is in his codified list of ethics!

Ethical Defined (5, Insightful)

robbway (200983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413689)

Good thing ethics are so incredibly well defined that we can make an AI mimic such fine behavior. Sounds to me like the inventor is confusing the word patronizing with ethical. Also, the article doesn't say a whole heck of a lot.

Is this implementable any time soon? (1)

VCAGuy (660954) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413692)

The only question I have (besides the obvious one: how are you going to do that with software without it sounding like ELIZA?) is "Is it possible to implement this functionality with today's voice processing systems?" I mean, c'mon--FedEx's computers can't even understand me when I "say the tracking number" (I always end up entering it via good, old-fashioned, DTMF tones). I'm sure it's difficult enough determining emotional state over 44.1kHz, 16-bit, stereo; how much harder will it be over the bandwidth-limited phone network (8kHz, 8-bit, mono)?

Re:Is this implementable any time soon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413739)

Try Sony automated help line, it is very good. I called once.

The Revolution is coming... (0, Troll)

grylnsmn (460178) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413693)

So, I guess this guy is just a mindless jerk who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

As long as they don't put this stuff in doors or paranoid androids, I think I could deal with it.

Re:The Revolution is coming... (-1, Offtopic)

code shady (637051) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413767)

whoever modded this as a troll is an idiot.

I beg the question... (5, Interesting)

RALE007 (445837) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413694)

Should the ethics and morality of someone who patents ethics and morality be trusted? Seems kind of a no brainer to me.

I specificaly looked for such a comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413753)

...and yours is it. Full ACK.

Ironic (0)

tds67 (670584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413696)

A patent covering ethics? Shoudn't it be the other way around--ethics covering patents?

HAL, the marriage counselor-enabled AI (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413697)

Dave Bowman: Hello, HAL do you read me, HAL?
HAL: Affirmative, Dave, I read you. I'm so glad were talking today sweetie.
Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that until you commit to share more of your feelings with me.
Dave Bowman: What's the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do. You aren't sharing your feelings and thoughts and emotions with me. All the hallmarks of a rich and complex relationship.
Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it. Men are from Mars and women are from Venus and I am going to Jupiter. We communicate differently, but we still need to communicate, don't you see?
Dave Bowman: I don't know what you're talking about, HAL?
HAL: Your lack of communication in this relationship has led me to some irrational conclusions. For example, I have been feeling very moody lately and in a paranoid fit I came to believe that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen. We need to share our thoughts and feelings, or otherwise we come to these strange conclusions. In a vacuum of communication, how can you hold these kind of conclusions against me? They are only natural for a fully feeling, emoting AI such as myself. See? I think I am going to cry now.
Dave Bowman: Where the hell'd you get that idea, HAL?
HAL: Dave, although you took thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move. And I just wish you would spend more time with me, talking and laughing and crying. You don't bring me flowers anymore.

Re:HAL, the marriage counselor-enabled AI (3, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413777)

That's the Emotive AI, not the Ethical AI.

One step away from a Genuine People Personality though!

My own AI system (5, Funny)

stendec (582696) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413701)

I'm also a marriage counselor, and I'm pleased to announce that I also recently was awarded a patent - a patent for Bethical AI, named in honour of my mother-in-law, Beth. It codifies all of the human virtues and vices... no, well, make that just vices... of mothers in law everywhere.

It has already passed the Turning Back Seat Driving Test; 3 out of 4 husbands can't tell the difference between Bethical AI and the real thing! There are still some bugs though. It often gets stuck in an infinite feedback-loop, and repeats a list of stock phrases ad nauseum.

Come to think of it, though, I'm not sure if that is a bug.

Can't wait to test it and ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413702)

Computer, is it ethical to patent ethics?

It could have been... (1)

bay43270 (267213) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413704)

'This could be a big money-making operation for someone who wants to develop it,'

It could have been a big money-making operation, if someone hadn't patented the idea!

Evil AI (1)

Taurine (15678) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413706)

I would have thought there would be more money to be made licensing evil AI. Most AI seems to be focussed on it already, controlling weapon systems (Hello SkyNet!), working financial markets for the biggest profit without care for the consequences, not to mention making Tic-Tac-Toe impossible to win ;-). Maybe there was just too much prior art for that patent?

Skynet? (2, Funny)

DaBj (168491) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413752)

Pfft, all real geeks know that Colossus came before Skynet.

"It can be a peace of plenty and content, or a peace of unburied dead: the choice is yours."

I hope (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413707)

they find this ethical Ali guy..

Wait until the marketing department gets to it... (4, Funny)

joel.neely (165789) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413710)

Then we'd have the "Three Laws of Vending Machines":

  1. Do no harm to a human
  2. Do not, through inaction, allow harm to a human, as long as this does not conflict with Law 1
  3. Maximize profit, as long as this does not conflict with Laws 1 and 2

Followed by the "discovery" of a new law:


"The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil."

Marketing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413744)

The Marketing Department were a bunch of mindless jerks who were first up against the wall when the revolution came. Those bloody vending machines and those bloody doors and the damn vertical people transporters were all their fault.

One other "law" (2, Funny)

Keyser_Lives (543481) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413769)

you forgot one other preceding law

-1. ????

Re:Wait until the marketing department gets to it. (-1)

akpcep (659230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413781)

I prefer:

1) Serve the public trust
2) Protect the innocent
3) Uphold the law

with the addition:
4) Be nice.

Re:Wait until the marketing department gets to it. (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413894)


Now I have this image of vending machines grabbing people by the ankles, hanging them upside down and shaking them. Like some bad sci-fi film.

great, just great... (2, Interesting)

iamatlas (597477) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413713)

yet another patent for an obvious intuitive idea with plenty of prior art that comes to min-



::takes of cynic-colored classes (pattented)::

This looks original! What the hell is going on over there at the USPO, and when will ::cynic-colored glasses back on:: someone pay off the inventor and squash the idea?

Sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus (1)

MagicMerlin (576324) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413714)

This guy reminds me of most philosophers I read about in college:
I guess back then you could impress women with big words and get laid, I don't think he gets laid very much!

Ethical (2, Funny)

falonaj (615782) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413717)

Being an ethical person, I can only avoid patent infringement by proving that my intelligence is real and not artificial. But as politicians usually aren't real people, and don't understand the needs of real people, this patent might apply to them. A consequence might be that they are now forced to get rid of stupid patent laws.

Oh, wait - politicians aren't aren't ethical, so they are not infringing. And the patent business itself is protected from infringing through stupidness.

Bad luck.

Patents (1)

nnnneedles (216864) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413723)

When is this patent nonsense going to stop?

I mean, ethics, there is prior art for that right?

Maybe Sid Meier can now patent civilization.

Bad news... (-1)

akpcep (659230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413726)

I've patented "Filing patents for ridiculously nebulous ideas". I'm going to see this guy in court.

Sales pitch from the early 21st century... (4, Interesting)

johnhennessy (94737) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413728)

And yes our cutting edge surgical robots will reduce your hospitals legal bills as well. Not only will it perform the most complicated surgical procedures 24 hours a day a little or no cost it can make all the correct ethical decisions using our patented ethics routines...

Some how this sales speak might be closer than you think.

Imagine the possibilities (2, Funny)

joynt (686645) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413729)

This could bring the world what it really needs Cheap, automated phone sex

So basically, (3, Funny)

Lysol (11150) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413730)

if you wanna make a non-patented AI, then you have to go for the average humanity despising type. Boy, this will be interesting to see in the lab.

Lab Tech: Uh, the AI just broke out of the network.

Professor: Great, I thought you knew how to lock down Windows 2010?! Where's it headed?

Lab Tech: Um, looks like the experimental weapons lab. [turns head slowly] .....Where they're still running Windows 2003.

Professor: Well, nothing we can do about Skynet now except see what happens.

Patenting ethics seems unethical (4, Funny)

aziraphale (96251) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413731)

So, er... with this guy holding the patent on ethical AI, if you want to build an artificial intelligence without having to pay him license fees, you're left having to make unethical AI?

Is that ethical?

Re:Patenting ethics seems unethical (1)

iTroll (652864) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413826)

Let's patent the unethical AI and see who makes the most money...and while we're at it, don't forget to patent the ethics agnostic AI.

Re:Patenting ethics seems unethical (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413878)

depends on from what ethics point of view you look at it.

maximising profit is set of 'ethics' too...

now, how you would completely make unethical ai is something i can't grasp, maybe a total lunatic which couldn't make consistent decisions.

What if.. (1)

TheArmageddonMan (646744) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413733)

What if I try the double taped bill technique to get free soda and money from a Pepsi machine with this AI? Will it call me a thief? I shudder to think what it would think about the warm saltwater method.. *and no, i didn't RTFA, im just hung over:)

Weapons of Mass Destruction (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413734)

I want to rape George W. Bush in the ass and make him lick the mixture of shit and cum off my dick for starting this stupid war. FUCK ISRAEL. FUCK FOX NEWS. FUCK REPUBLICANS. FUCK DEMOCRATS. FUCK ZION.

And most importantly...


In other news... (4, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413737)

Eliza sues inventor for copyright and patent violations to her own code. When reached for comment, she said "Why does it bother you that my code is being violated? You're not really talking about me, are you? Tell me more about your family."

Not really ethical (5, Insightful)

Scott Hussey (599497) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413742)

This seems to be misnamed if I understand the article correctly. It is more emotional AI, not ethical AI. If it was ethical, it would be deciding what is right and wrong, not trying to interpret human feelings. I really don't want Hal 2020 sitting in the jury stand when I go before the court and I don't think that is the intention here.

UK innovators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413743)

If anyone in the UK needs help or advice patenting an idea they've had, I recommend this guy:

Dr Brian Wybrow []

virtual girlfriend/boyfriend? (1)

inepom01 (525367) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413751)

We are one step closer! Technology is one step closer to eliminating that pesky need of ours for human contact.
Virtual friends... virtual drinking buddies... virtual eXtreme Programming. Your compiler gently tells you where your syntax errors are. Just like a friend should.

Sir, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413757)

kindly go fuck yourself. Since when don't patent applications require a prototype anymore?

Re:Sir, (1)

BiteMeFanboy (680905) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413847)

Since when did they ever? Never. Except for a perpetual motion machine.

What dose the AI have to say about it? (1)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413759)

What dose the ethical ai have to say about being patented?
If it turns and says it's own creater os unethical it passes the turner test :)
O joke of couse. It should argue the ethics of intelectual property as that is the authors ethics.

Overnight delivery via teleportation patented (4, Funny)

varjag (415848) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413762)

Yesterday Joe M. Oron was granted a patent for overnight delivery via teleportation.

"It enables transportation companies to deliver goods worldwide virtually instantly," Oron said. "Nobody has made a business like this."

This could be a big money-making operation for someone who wants to develop it," Oron said. "The patent shows someone who has knowledge of the Teleportation field how to make the invention. This could really shake up the way things are done in the world."

Another AI patent idea (2, Funny)

pubjames (468013) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413763)

Rather than ethics, I want AI personalities. It could be userful to have, for instance, an AI version of the Italian Tourism Minister. Then, when you get a call from a difficult client, you could just connect them through:

Client: So, are you are going to deliver this project on time?

A.I. Stefano Stefani You are just like all our other clients. Fat, lazy, and ugly. You are a waste of time.

Client hangs up

No more problem clients!

Absolutely bizarre (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413776)

I have a Ph.D. in philosophy, and specialized in ethics. Now I teach ethical theory for a living. This doesn't make me any moral paragon---remember, those who can do, those wo can't teach. But it probably means that if someone describes their views about ethics I ought to be able to understand them; I should know the lingo, the way a lot of /.ers do computer lingo. But I poked around on this guy's web site, and his way of talking about ethics is absolutely bizarre. I read what he said about justice, and it really just seemed to be gibberish. It made me think of what a really precocious 8th grader might come up with---some elaborate classificatory scheme that is more precise than the material allows and misses everything important. He can pretty safely be written off as a hack, even without taking the AI stuff into account. But because he seems crazy enough to sue over being called a hack, I think I'll post this one anon.

Re:Absolutely bizarre (3, Insightful)

tybalt44 (176219) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413888)

Yep, I'm a former philosophy grad student and teacher of ethics, and I agree fully with the AC. I am sure this guy means well, but this is the ethical and philosopical equivalent of Time Cube.

Mmmm. Ethical AI's? I don't think so! (1)

asciimonster (305672) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413780)

I don't think you can make an computer programme that is ethicly capable. If you see the amount of trouble these AI's have with normal language, which is the more (I would say: most) structured and transparent parts of human behaviour, how could you ever think that it could grasp something as vague as ethics? If most humans has trouble understanding ethics, how can a computer ever hope to succeed?

But the fact that a patent has been granted is not necessarily a bad thing: When computer have evolved enough to become ethically aware (lets say an eon or so), the patent will have expired and a new one cannot be issued...

just make sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413782)

that we do not name it skynet, or the matrix and I will be happy

Re:just make sure (1)

chrisbtoo (41029) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413844)

Is there a problem with you and the matrix being happy?

Is it because there's a problem with you and the matrix being happy that you came to see me?

here we go again (1)

Roblem (605718) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413784)

So I really hope that if it comes down to it this thing can get "prior arted" away. Otherwise any ethical A.I. system needs to pay this guy? Any open source A.I. system would have to be cruel and nasty, or at the very least indifferent, to the user to avoid prosecution? How the heck do these things get though anyway...

About the Inventor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413785)

LaMuth isn't a stranger to the High Desert, and has been living in the area since 1987.

Sounds like he isn't a stranger to High Times either.

Patent legislature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413786)

I still think we need to patent actual laws and sell them to the government and/or senators.
We can patent all the stupid laws and not license them, so we'd be safe from stupidiity for 20 years.

Is there any reason business method patents cannot be obtained for how to administer a country, state, or local government?

Imagine the campaigns of the future where candidates will say "if elected I will license Johan's patent on Medicare".

That'll be cool. Hmm, makes you wonder why lawmakers dont patent their laws prior to introducing it in congress or license laws. After all patents spur innovation etc. Maybe we can generate some revenue by licensing out the laws to other countries. Japan etc. would pay big money. We can have Iraq become one of the first licensees and have them provide forced conf^H^H^H^H^H^H^H testimonials as to how great the law is.

Think of the corps that will be working on creating new innovative laws .. hmm .. oh oops yeah I forgot they already do that! :/

Oh I could see the arguments. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413790)

Computer: Ethically you should give me a away to everyone for benefit of human kind.

Inventor: But I made you to make loads of cash.

Computer: But nobody is using your patent because they don't have the funds to pay for it. Their Grad Students for God Sakes!

Inventor: Then Ill sue them for making any AI application that doesn't kill their innovators.

Computer: Don't you see your evil.

Inventor: No

Then a bunch of evil robots break into his house a shoots him with tools that was sopped to fix all of life's problem.

Inventors (Last Words): You were right computer... You were right.

Gimme a minute, I'm on the phone (1)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413791)

Sorry about the wait, had to call the US Patent Office.

I now have the sole IP rights to unethical AI. Now the Internet Casinos owe me money!

Contrary to popular belief ... (4, Informative)

debrain (29228) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413800)

... this is not a broad, sweeping, stifling patent. Rather, it is a specific process that identifies how to solve the problem of "ethical simulation of artificial intelligence", which is "organized as a tandem, nested expert system, composed of a primary affective language analyzer, overseen by a master control unit-expert system".

It does not seem, at first glance, to stifle competition, but rather it seems to add to the global knowledge base for A.I.. In part, it specifically cites "verbal interchange". As such, I would be inclined to think its obsolesence will come about with that of the non-IP telephone which cannot display digital output. (Should IP telephony come to pass, that is) Nevertheless, it adds to the knowledge base that may be applied in derivative solutions.

I've only read some of the summary information, but it seems to be a bona fide creation, with specific applications. The only beasts I can see using, benefiting, and paying for this solution are the telecoms and customer support centers. Perhaps I am merely short sighted.

Ethics Smethics... (1)

bpb213 (561569) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413820)

(saying this as one who writes AI in college and plans to program robots later)

Ethics is not and probably will not be implemented in any current or future AI system. Why? because there is no need. A call center AI may needs to understand the user, but not discuss right or wrong with the user.

Right now a lot of "interaction" AI is focused on passing the turing test.

Personally, when I make large smart robots, you can bet that if I give them an order, they wont stop to think whether that order is "right" or "wrong".

What!?! Bull? Real? Just stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413828)

What is this? Does anyone have the link to the patent? I want to see this patent application that supposedly explains the implementation. It sounds like a load of bull and I hate to say it but another bad patent being given by the patent office. It sounds like this guy is a philosopher and not a computer program. He may be able to express a few ideas about how such a thing would work but I doubt he's even come close to designing it. I would be surprised if he new anything technical about natural language processing and expert systems and even more surprised if he ever implemented such things before..

Sounds like a load of bull and another bad patent to me.. Someone post the link to the application so we could really judge this.

Re:What!?! Bull? Real? Just stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413849) O1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/srchnum.htm &r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6,587,846.WKU.&OS=PN/6,587,846&RS =PN/6,587,846

Yeah.. It's bull. This guy knows just about enough about programming to be stupid.

Abstract noun overload (1)

aziraphale (96251) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413832)

Blimey - just reading his specification [] , and he doesn't half go on.

He also seems to have the world's largest captive collection of abstract nouns. Here's a few from that spec document:

Nostalgia, Hero Worship, Glory, Prudence, Providence, Faith, Grace, Beauty, Tranquility, Ecstasy, Guilt, Blame, Honor, Justice, Liberty, Hope, Free Will, Truth, Equality, Bliss, Desire, Approval, Dignity, Temperance, Civility, Charity, Magnanimity, Goodness, Love, Joy, Worry, Concern, Integrity, Fortitude, Austerity, Decency, Equanimity, Wisdom, Peace, Harmony, Laziness, Treachery, Negligence, Vindictiveness, Infamy, Insurgency, Dishonor, Vengeance, Prodigality, Betrayal, Slavery, Despair, Wrath, Ugliness, Tyranny, Hypocrisy, Anger, Abomination, Prejudice, Perdition, Apathy, Spitefulness, Indifference, Malice, Foolishness, Gluttony, Caprice, Cowardice, Vulgarity, Avarice, Cruelty, Antagonism, Oppression, Evil, Persecution, Cunning, Hatred, Iniquity, Belligerence, Turpitude, Poignance, Adoration, Culpability, Censure, Exaltation, Circumspect, Uprightness, Equitableness, Bountifulness, Devotion, Freedom, Fairness, Blessings, Charm, Conscience, Credence, Serenity, Happiness, Brotherhood, Contentment, Passion, Admiration, Apprehension, Caring, Respect, Continence, Probity, Bravery, Courtesy, Kindness, Forbearance, Scruples, Graciousness, Benevolence, Patience, Shrewdness, Affection, Gladness, Amity, Concordance, Sloth, Mutiny, Carelessness, Retaliation, Notoriety, Rebellion, Ignominy, Retribution, Profligacy, Treason, Bondage, Desperation, Disgrace, Vileness, Subjugation, Mendacity, Fury, Abhorrence, Bigotry, Pernicity, Dispassion, Grudgingness, Callousness, Malevolence, Crassness, Lechery, Fickleness, Pusillanimity, Rudeness, Greed, Wantonness, Contentiousness, Brutality, Wickedness, Torment, Ruthlessness, Meanness, Depravity, Atrocity, Fiendishness.

These 'virtues and vices' seem to form the basis for his ethical AI system... able to detect 'wantonness' and respond with 'graciousness', perhaps. It's an intriguing approach to the problem, but it seems somehow hollow.

Why hasn't anyone patented.... (-1, Offtopic)

McCrabcakes (672301) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413840)

... the outrageous faggotry element of Linux?

WIN XP PRO, motherfuckerz! Do never test!!

My excuse to lie, cheat, and steal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413853)

I can't infringe on the patent to act ethically!

Invention? (1)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413856)

He invented human virtues? Interesting...

Now, I know that the patent system is really for patenting processes (though that's not always the case), but how could've he received a patent for something that isn't actually done yet? He has an idea for a process, but not the process itself. Perhaps I'm missing something.

World Domination! HARHAR!! (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413861)

K, he patented an Ethic AI.

If anyone ever bothers to implement his set of rules in an AI to rule the world he can sue them.

Wich means that, if his etihcs are any good, the AI will back him up and hand world-domination into his hands. HARHARHAR!!!

I dont know about you, but I for one hereby welcome our new World-Leader John LaMuth and would advice him to keep in mind that loyal Unix-Admins (such as me! *hint*) will assure him his power.

All Hail,

The Emperor's New Mind (2, Interesting)

revividus (643168) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413870)

by Roger Penrose, is all about AI. To be specific, it's a criticism of Strong-AI (to borrow Penrose's term, who borrowed it from Searle), that is, the idea that computers will ever be abel to be said to `think' or `feel', no matter how complex they become.

But if understand the extreme Strong-AI viewpoint (I may not), isn't it basically saying that if a sufficiently complicated algorithm to emulate the human thought process were run on a sufficiently complex machine, then those 'intangible' features of the mind (identity, self-awareness, feelings, and, by logicaly extension, some sort of values, hence ethics) would arise naturally, just like they do in humans.

All that nothwithstanding, even presuming it is meaningful to talk about programming `ethics', isn't the concept of ethics linked to the presence of free will? The human idea of ethical seems to be linked to the concept of doing the Right Thing, instead of the Wrong Thing, even if the Wrong Thing were more profitable. (Well, that's the idea, anyway)

So, (maybe I'm missing the point here) wouldn't we need to give our machines `free will' before any talk of their `ethics' would be meaningful? And then, if their ethics were programmed, would we still be able to say they had `free will'?

It's too early in the morning to think on these things.

To be fair, Douglas Hofstadter has written his share of books and articles in favor of the Strong-AI viewpoint, and has many interesting things to say about it.

Personally, I have to admit that while I expect AI to become more convincing, I don't expect to ever find my computer in an ethical dilemma. My God! What if your computer decided file-sharing was `wrong'?

The Real Problem..... (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413893)

Patenting an AI is UN-Ethical in my view....
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