Computers, Programs and Purposes
Author: P. Fernando Pascual, L.C | Source: Catholic.net
A computer will do thousands of operations quickly and perfectly. The programmer knows. But the computer doesn't realize it.
Why? Because realizing that you act well is possible when you reach an extremely rich concept: the purpose.
The end is what we do something about. The same operation can have several purposes according to the desires and thoughts of the person who performs it.
Thus, eating has a spontaneous purpose in recovering strength, but it can also serve to rest, to enjoy, to coexist with others.
The computer receives instructions, "learn" even new ways to perform them. But you do not know the purposes of the programmer or the program.
The same program can have the potential to move a sophisticated device to cure a sick person or to mount the parts of a rocket loaded with several atomic bombs.
The ends are in the mind and in the heart of the program and who uses the computer. The electronic apparatus cannot protest if it is used for a crime or be happy if it helps to walk an invalid child.
Of course, thanks to the precision of the computer, the human being can achieve goals that previously seemed impossible. But the good or evil that these goals possess does not depend on the electronic instrument, but on us.
The discussions on the so-called artificial intelligence cannot put aside this human peculiarity: that of prefixing ends, and of judging them according to the ideas of good and evil, of justice and of injustice, of truth and of lies.
So, beyond the fiction of those who imagine that one day computers could be more honest than us, we need to ask ourselves if the programs we make serve to improve human life, and if we know how to use them according to criteria of justice that result Essential to coexist ethically.