Artificial intelligence is the science of imitating the human mental faculties in a computer. This is showing intelligence in the levels of understanding involved which include either the lowest-level behaviors. This level involves instinctive reactions like withholding one’s hand from a hot object while a high-level behavior basically demand specialist’s expertise like the interpretation of mass spectrograms. Robots happen to be highly intelligent but the fact remains that the aspect of reasoning on their own is not yet achieved. They have not been able to give reason on their own. The human behavior in the middle of the spectrum that normal people execute with barely a conscious mind has greatly proved to be the hardest thing for the computer scientists to imitate. For a good robot to execute efficiently, so many joints are put together with a couple of high power processors to enable fast execution of requests. The scientists have shown a great achievement as far as intelligence is concerned but there still a gap that never is bridged as far as common sense is concerned.
Making a system that adapts to our daily routine chores without prior knowledge of changes to happen while making sensible decisions about the unfamiliar environment remains a prospect even to date. There is no machine that spans the entire spectrum of intelligent behavior. Turing (1950) says, “it is inconceivable that such a machine should produce different arrangements of words so as to give an appropriate and a meaningful answer to whatever is said in its presence as the dullest of human beings can do” (457). It is true that a machine will fail at some point in as much as they do what the humans do. This signifies that machines are imitators and they act not from understanding but only from the disposition of their built organs. This is so because the programs are isolated from the real world, the external world. They exist in a world of abstraction. They do not know much about the nature and it has little to do with their existence. This leads to the conclusion that Turing’s test that says that a singular feature of thinking is the use of language is to be untrue. Language is one of the many features of thinking which include the entity in this case having an entity that knows its surrounding and can act out of understanding.
Contractualism in a broad sense is used to indicate the view that morality is based on contract or agreement. Scanlon(1988)says that “it is about moral reasoning and an act would be wrong if its performance under the circumstances would be disallowed by any set of principles for the regulation of behavior that no one could reasonably object to as a basis for informed, unforced general agreement” (153). A person’s value is appreciatedby the amount of reason that he/she puts in place. The content of morality is thus derived from the outcome of an agreement between the members involved in the public domain. It gives everyone the right to reason and appreciates that everyone has an exclusive life to live.
Utilitarianism on the other hand is the most powerful and persuasive approach to normative ethics in the philosophical history. It holds the view that the morally upright action is the one that serves the majority. It is thus consequentialin form. It still holds that morally upright action will increase happiness and reduce pain. It maintains that people should uphold pleasure and refrain from inflicting pain on themselves and to the rest in the public domain.
Kantianism is the supreme principle of morality and operates in the principle of universal law and the principle of Humanity. This ethics principle maintains that all persons in this case meaning a being that has the ability to make moral judgment and still conform to them, as ends and not the means. Animals can be treated as means because they cannot make moral judgment. The thought that as long as one is comfortable in his/her ideal situation without regarding the others is failure to respect dignity. Thus according to the view, it is wrong to conclude that pleasure is the only yardstick. It is the exercise of one’s personhood proficiencies in ethical deliberations and choice. The view also denotes that lying irrespective of when and why is morally wrong. It holds that it’s better if one never said a thing. The shortcoming that the view has is based on what the end means in the spirit of having a person as the end and not the means. It assumes other independent standard of what is morally reasonable and thus cannot stand on its own principle unless it borrows from others. Consequently, information ethics is the ethical issues and dilemmas in the development and application of information according to Mason (1986). These issues include privacy, property, accuracy and access. Privacy issues mainly arise when one’s personal information is revealed to others without his/her consent, property issues usually reflects the ownership of the information while accuracy involves fidelity and authenticity of information and access issues regard right to privileged access of the information. To this effect, moral equity dimensions measures the extent to which a person understands that an action has been carried out fairly and justly.
In addition, contractualism dimension measures the extent to which an action violates vocal accountabilities and commitments. On the other hand, utilitarianism dimension measures the extent to which an action produces the greatest good for the large community. Individuals in the light of the same are unwilling to undertake an unethical action of the behavior are unjust, socially unacceptable, produces least good for the society among others. Contractualism, Utilitarianism and Kantianism in regards to computer information problems address the issues that prevail like privacy, property, accuracy and access. Each of the views is of great importance in handling the problems though this differs from one country to another. For example, the Americans appreciate fairness and justice and would go with the moral equity dimension while the Chinese value common good and would go for utilitarianism view, the most used issue being privacy. Thus, the moral equity dimension and utilitarianism view carry the day in computer information systems depending with the country in question.
Privacy is key to everybody and it is the claim of every individual, community or institution to operate without interference. The right to privacy in electronic communication and data mining is very important. On the other hand, the government has always interfered with people’s lives and privacies to the extent of filing a suit against the government. It is evident that the government has the right and obligation to enquire into the electronic profile of its members of public and outsiders who happen to pose a threat to the country without search warrant. What constitutes the government intrusion into privacy is whether a person exhibits a subjective expectation of privacy and whether the public domain is prepared to recognize the person’s subjective expectation as reasonable. The government looks at the ground upon which the search is conducted, the framer’s intent, societal understanding and the individual’s use of the seized item. A search therefore takes place if there is an expectation of privacy that the society is prepared to consider reasonable is infringed. While sending a mail, there is the to-and-from part which is not concealed and the government receives this as not private but in the public domain. Additionally, when opening an online bank account, the information given out together with your password is said to be with a third party making it public. To this regard, protecting the privacy of individuals in the electronic communication is not applicable even in the Fourth Amendment protection which can only be invoked by an undisturbed expectation of the privacy in which case the Amendment does not prohibit the government from seizing the non-private information rendered so by a third party in this case the ISP. Additionally, the constitution only restricts government intrusion and not private entities in internet privacy. This surveillance affects the notion of free speech indirectly because not every now and then will the government intrude into one’s internet privacy unless the need arises. The above discussion has shown that The scientists have shown a great achievement as far as intelligence is concerned but there still a gap that never is bridged as far as common sense is concerned.
Mason, Richard. Four ethical issues of the information age.MIS Quarterly, 10(1986):5-12.
Scanlon, Michael. What We Owe to Each Other.Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 1998. Print.
Turing, Alan. Computing Machinery and Intelligence Mind. NY: Oxford University Press,