The Monkey's Paw Test: a Reverse Turing Test for Foolproof Office Robot, A.I. and Staff Instructions


What will happen if a sophisticated A.I. system (especially an "autonomous" one) interprets its directives and data in such a way that it "perceives" a conflict between human goals and needs, and proceeds to give them relative weights and priorities disastrously at odds with human weightings of these -- e.g., through either a misinterpretation of your command or an unimaginably complex logistical chain triggers a nuclear exchange between two superpowers in order to make a pizza for you?

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The Monkey's Paw Test: a Reverse Turing Test for Foolproof Office Robot, A.I. and Staff Instructions

What you will learn in this eBook

The year is 2020 (which is not a long way off, as of this report's publication date) and you have just given your A.I. recruiting software program a voice directive: "Delete all resumes dated earlier than 2018". Because of a design vulnerability in the voice-activated program's semantic capabilities, it deletes the 1,000+ resumes in your database, since each contains an attained educational qualification or work-experience date that is earlier than 2018.

Delayed by this, you later rush to lunch—in part, to try to eat to forget—at the new all-bot sushi bar, where the robot you tell to "bring six pieces of any sushi, and make it snappy" (having comparable voice-command functionality) promptly returns with six pieces of neatly riceencased rubber bands deftly placed on ready-rigged mouse traps.

Your commands were not vetted beforehand by any of the A.I. systems' software designers, engineers or manufacturer, by another or the same A.I. system, by a colleague or yourself, and therefore did not convince anyone or anything else that your directives ("wishes”" had only one, innocuous interpretation and equally innocuous method(s) of execution.

About the author

Michael Moffa
Michael Moffa
Michael Moffa, writer for Recruiter.com, is a former editor and writer with China Daily News, Hong Kong edition and Editor-in-chief, Business Insight Japan Magazine, Tokyo; he has also been a columnist with one of Japan's national newspapers,The Daily Yomiuri, and a university lecturer (critical thinking and philosophy).
The Monkey's Paw Test: a Reverse Turing Test for Foolproof Office Robot, A.I. and Staff Instructions