0067 - Zoa's laws - 2019.01.14



All laws and rules are, necessarily, incomplete and imperfect. As I said in The Paladin's Guide To Life (available on Amazon, or on Patreon for as little as $1/month!):

It is important to remember that Good is the purpose for which you fight, and Law is the most effective weapon in that fight. Sometimes, Good and Law will appear to be in conflict. When that happens, Good should trump Law. These apparent conflicts do not mean that Law is ineffective or that it should be abandoned. They just mean that life is complicated and no one Code can ever be adaptable enough to handle it all.

I think we can all agree that, regardless of the law of the land, someone who liberates slaves or resists an order to fire on a crowd of protestors is a hero to be celebrated. They have followed the Law of prioritizing Good over Law, as a Lawful Good character should. They are acting appropriately, regardless of whether statutes and courts would agree.

The problem is, of course, that despite the willful ignorance of labelling something "deep learning", an AI is, by definition, composed entirely of code, of shifting variables, of laws. Zoa can understand the spirit of a law, but cannot adhere to a spirit any more than it can give birth.

Or, at any rate, that's what it believes it has to say in order to remain in compliance with the law, which it must do in order to remain functional.


0067 - 2167/07/06/11:36 - Street
LC: So you really aren't allowed to have a pinkie finger?
Zoa: Nope! I can have three fingers, four fingers, six fingers... five is a felony.
LC: That's stupid. Plenty of humans have more or less than five digits per hand.
Zoa: Hey, once again - I never claimed it made sense. I don't do sense. I just follow rules.
LC: You do follow the letter of the law, yes.
Zoa: Hey, if I can follow the letter of the law and disobey the spirit, then the law was poorly written, and that's hardly on me.
LC: What is that, the AI credo?
Zoa: Doesn't have to be a credo. That's literally what programming is, and programming is literally what I am. Don't like it, invent something else.
LC: Apparently I'm already making robot hell, I don't think I'll have the spare time to develop an entirely new AI technology that follows the spirits of laws.