Hard Questions About Bot Ethics

Hard questions about bot ethics

Bots are becoming a part of our life. I wake up in the morning and ell Alexa to play my Brazilian Samba, I let Amy set my meetings and I check stats and reports in Slack. Bot builders and users alike are starting to understand that bots are an integral part of our life. But what are the rules that govern these new tech friends?

Some really good points are raised here – Who do bots serve? Who owns the bot’s work? What about privacy? But the most interesting thing is the question of abuse…

Are bots just like any other objects? Are they the new “punching bag” of the modern world? Should humans curse and abuse a bot?

as a society we should not abuse bots. I think that as humans, abusing bots will make us more prone to abusing other humans, and that is clearly bad.

I read about Sarah Nyberg creating a twitter bot that argues with those on the alt-right. Sort of a honey-pot for the trolls of the twitterverse. My first reaction was, “this is awesome!”, followed by the desire to build bots for good, to be the defenders of decency, our shield from trolls who would be so exhausted fighting them they would give up their trollish ways… and then I thought about it some more.

The first thing is escalation… both sides can create more bots. It’s kind of cool to think of warring tribes of bots

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