The first fatal autonomous car crash involved a man who’d previously brought himself some minor YouTube fame by uploading a video of his Tesla avoiding a collision while in Autopilot mode.
He’d credited his life to the car he’d affectionally named “Tessy”. He was quite sure Tessy had his back and was looking out for him in ways he didn’t really need to understand. She was special.
This is going to be a big challenge for us going forward.
We want to develop relationships and they don’t even have to be objectively real. They bring us comfort because they trick the amydgala into feeling as though we have someone or something looking out for us. We thrive on the sense of safety we get from community and reciprocity.
Soon, Artificial Intelligence will learn and remember things about you that no one else does.
“Hello David, did you meet with your doctor today? How did it go? Should we try eating less cabbage and brussel sprouts?”
And what is a friend if not someone who witnesses us through life?
We’ll need to become a lot more conscious about what’s real and what’s simulated. Emotional ties became an incredibly powerful part of our evolutionary development but they could also be used against us.
We all know people who will spend tens of thousands of dollar to extend the life of a pet.
Would people delete all their family photos to feed a hungry family?
Would people sacrifice the existence of a robot who has witnessed their life to save a stranger they’d never met?
Things are going to get stranger. At what point is something that’s not organic, conscious? Will it attain rights? What if you love it?
I have no idea but we’d better starting thinking about it now.