Why You Can’t Teach Human Values to Artificial Intelligence

Elon Musk, the co-founder of luxury electric U.S. car maker Tesla, speaks at the StartmeupHK Venture Forum in Hong Kong on Jan. 26. Philippe Lopez/Getty Images If you encountered a robot on the street, you would want it to give you the right of way instead of just rolling over your foot, right? Making room for a passerby is simple, but it’s just one of the many human “values” that we seek to make our increasingly prolific machine creations obey. Computer scientists like Stuart Russell and technologists in companies building advanced artificial intelligence platforms say that they want to see A.I. “provably aligned with human values.” A scientist at the A.I. startup Anki recently assured Elon Musk and others that A.I. will be “friend”—not “foe.” Advertisement At first glance, little…


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