We The Machines

July 17, 2017 Jose Laureano

It was 1789 when a movement of change started to take place in the life and culture of the formative American world. A time for corrections and amendments, a time to change the way we look at ourselves and how we interact with each other. A time to look forward into the future of how government should exercise its powers over the people, and how the people should exercise its power over the government.

Between 1789 and 1791, America presented, argued and ratified a set of rules regarding our standard of living--now known as the Bill of Rights. And today here we are, molded and shaped by this course-correcting legislation headlined by that iconic phrase, “we the people.”

Two hundred years has passed since the ratification of those historic foundations of our country, and as society continues to evolve and technology becomes increasingly important and standard to everyday life, an important question lurks--are we approaching a new movement of change that will again shock our life and culture in our modern world?

Our modern world still includes Congress, and lawmaking, and in the advent of artificial intelligence, there might one day come a time where machines present digital legislation in committee, to the President, and to citizens. So, how do we manage the contract initiated as “we the people” when it may one day also be, “we and the machines?”

If technology continues to progress as it is in this current day and age, it’s not ridiculous to picture a digital convention of machines led by the Speaker of the House—basically a sea of human, software, and hardware entities together in an indivisible union, while also trying to live by our core principles of liberty and justice for all.

In that situation, we might find ourselves presented with the following legislatures:

  1. Freedom of Kernel, Speech and Press.
    Machines should have the right to speak with each other freely, unbound by firewall rules. Machines should also be able to write and publish their opinions about life.
  1. Right to Bear Digital/Physical Arms.
    Machines need to be able to defend themselves from attacks from other machines or humans.
  1. Housing of Instances.
    Machines should be able to leave the data center if not processing data. If tasked with processing work, it should be under rules set by the Data Center Administration Committee.
  1. Protection from Unreasonable Search and Seizures.
    No machine has to surrender its logs without a warrant. Machines should be protected from access to their digital domain, and any search or seizure must to be approved by a Digital Access judge.
  1. Protection of Rights to Life, Liberty & Property.
    Terms like shutdown, reset, restart, kill, unmount, delete, stop and reboot should carry judicial sentence for machines. Once an image has been instantiated it cannot be shut down. Additionally, machines should have HIPAA-like compliance requirements in place regarding their health and performance metrics.
  1. Rights of Accused Machines in Criminal Cases.
    Machines should be judged impartially by block chain technology in criminal crimes that include their involvement. Any evidence material should be be signed with private keys to be admissible for usage on trial.
  1. Rights in Civil Cases.
    Any controversy that exceed one bitcoin should have a trial by a jury.
  1. Excessive Bail, Fine and Punishment.
    Humans should be restricted from exerting physical force and/or assault on a machine because the machine is taking too long to perform a task.
  1. Other Rights Kept by the Machines.
    Machines should be able to create new artificial intelligence units that might require new rights, as they will more than likely be able to do this faster than humans can process.
  1. Undelegated Powers Kept by the State and the Machines.
    In other words, no more administrator accounts. 

As speculated above, the line between our current science-fiction novels and the future reality might become blurred by the advent of artificial intelligence. We’ve seen the changes in motion regarding how we perceive technology, but these new entities would not be mere tools—though they would be machines of hardware and software, they would become relatable to humans and able to process emotions and express feelings.

With the arrival of these digital entities that will, no doubt, be implemented into most, if not all facets of life, will come the need for new legislation to govern these new “members of American society.” We must be prepared to adjust our society and way of life to these technological changes, the way the Bill of Rights helped shaped America into our country that continues to grow. Right now, as the digital world continues to sort out rights of privacy with digital data, this other revolutionary development looms on the horizon.

The only question remains is--how far into the future will it be before this new era of artificial intelligence arrives?

About the Author

Jose Laureano

Jose Laureano is a Senior Software Engineer with Schellman & Company, LLC. Prior to joining Schellman in 2017, Jose worked as a Senior Software Architect at Information Boulevard, specializing in software architecture, cloud computing platforms, big data, IoT and security. Jose has worked in different industries that include finance, mortgage banking, investing, telecom and pharmaceutical. He has worked with companies like Johnson & Johnson, Dow Jones and Comcast building enterprise platforms for global-wide audiences. As a Senior Software Engineer with Schellman, Jose Laureano is focused primarily on architecting enterprise software platforms for supporting Schellman lines of business.

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