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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Three laws


1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First of Second Law.

-Isaac Asimov


The great Science Fiction writer Isaac Asimov introduced the above laws in his fiction writing. The man was a genius. An artificial person, one with great abilities and power, needs special rules to keep humanity safe. In my opinion it was a brilliant idea. It's an idea that we should adopt today.

Whadda ya mean? You may say, scratching your head in a simian manner. We don't have any artificial persons yet.

Ah, but we do. They are called corporations. They are legally artificial people. The Supreme Court has even ruled they have First Amendment rights. That's pretty darn real.

The problem with corporations is that they are insane. Their main function is to increase wealth, in the most efficient manner possible. They are like a robot programmed to be greedy beyond all other functions.

We need something like the three laws of robotics, but for corporations.

Lets start with Asimov's three:

1. A corporation may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. (Seems a lot saner than an artificial person programmed for greed. Puts humans first.)

2. A corporation must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. (Makes it clear who works for who. Also protects human rights)

3. A corporation must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First of Second Law. (Here the corporation is protected, along with the shareholder's investment.)

Nice. It's a good start.

-Sixbears

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