zdgroff comments on Nothing Wrong With AI Weapons - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: zdgroff 30 August 2017 05:05:20PM 3 points [-]

This is a really interesting write-up and definitely persuaded me quite a bit. One thing I see coming up the answers a lot, at least with Geoffrey Miller and Lee Sharkey, is that resistance to abuses of power does not involve matching firepower with firepower but instead can be done by civil resistance. I've read a good bit on the literature on civil resistance movements (people like Erica Chenoweth and Sidney Tarrow), and my impression is that LAWs could hinder the ability to resist civilly as well. For one, Erica Chenoweth makes a big point about how one of the key mechanisms of success for a civil resistance movement is getting members of the regime your challenging to defect. If the essential members are robots, this seems like a much more difficult task. Sure, you can try to build in some alignment mechanism, but that seems like a risky bet. More generally, noncompliance with roles people are expected to play is a large part of what makes civil resistance work. Movements grow to encompass people who the regime depends upon, and those people gum up the works. Again, couldn't robots take away the possibility of doing this?

Also, I think I am one of the people who was talking about this recently in my blog post last week on the subject, and I posted an update today that I've moved somewhat away from my original position, in part because of the thoughtful responses of people like you.