Sanglin Lee - Manifesto

We ought to stop developing games that cause confusion between reality and virtual reality.

I thought the video we saw in class where the girl talked to and interacted with the little boy on the TV screen was disturbing because she reacted and interacted with him as if he was a real person. Now, there is a new game that is being developed called Ultimate Battlefield 3 Simulator where the players dress up in combat gear, carry a gun, and are in an igloo-looking thing that has 360 degree simulation of the scene in the video game they are playing. The ground is made up of something that is similar to a treadmill, so that the play feels as if he/she is actually running after and from the enemy. The trial runs for this game show that the players really feel as if they are in a war zone fighting their enemy. (They even had a veteran from the Gulf War test it out) This can lead to further problems with desensitization to violence and death. I remember when I was in Korea, that this one guy went on a killing spree after playing a video game for days. When the police interrogated him, he could not differentiate killing real people from killing people in the game; he admitted to feeling no difference between the two. Although this is an extreme example, I believe that games like this will promote violence and have more negative effects than positive ones in our society. Society will experience negative consequences if games, such as this one, goes mainstream. We don’t want a more violence-prone society that is desensitized to the repercussions, or people who cannot distinguish their gaming world from reality. This is why we should be careful and limit how realistic games are, especially for children and teens.

Sources for Reference: Video we saw in class about Kinect (Project Natal): Milo- Virtual Human XBox 360 and Ultimate Battlefield 3 Simulator

People who develop technology should put ethics above fame and monetary gain.

People who develop technology should be ethical and not develop things that may have a negative effect on society, even if they know that this technology will make them rich.
I assume that people who develop various new technologies are really smart. Hopefully, they will also have enough common sense to determine whether their new invention will have negative effects on society. This is kind of like a mad scientist creating a monster just for fun or to prove that they can. Even though this will bring them fame or some other form of accolade, the world would be worse off because of the invention. There are times when I feel like people create things I order to feel like god, in order to have power and control over aspects of life that they should not be messing with. Although the creation of AI and other forms of technology is exciting, everyone should take into consideration to long-term effects that these gadgets could have which can eventually lead to the demise of mankind. (This is very extreme, pessimistic and science-fictiony) Some may argue that we cannot get caught up on these potential consequences and worry too much about the outcomes because this will hinder progress. This may be true, and I understand that it is impossible to have perfect information and to predict the future so mistakes are bound to happen, but we should be more careful with creating technologies such as making really human-like robots. I believe that it is important for scientists, engineers and other inventors to consider human kind over their selves or their companies, institutions, and other organizations that may benefit from these innovations. Once a product is released, it may be impossible to take it back and remove it altogether. This is why it is important to remain unbiased when determining if a product will have detrimental effects, and if they have the possibility for this, they shouldn’t produce the product no matter how great the personal gain may be.

Source for Reference: Ultimate Battlefield 3 Simulator

We ought to stop trying to make technology emulate human behavior and functions.

Robots should not take the place of humans when it comes to taking care of other people or doing other tasks where we benefit from human interaction. Sherry Turkle mentions various types of robots in her book that are designed for various things. There was her encounter with ELIZA when she felt connected to and craved attention from a robot. There were also AIBO, and M Real Baby which were geared to keep the elder company and to make them feel useful, for a lack of a better word. There were also Kismet and Domo, which were more human-like then the ones that were more like pets. The idea of having human-like robots is frightening. I don’t doubt that someday the technology might get advanced enough for it to be almost impossible for us to distinguish robots from humans, more physically than intellectually. Robots may have an advantage over us because death isn’t inevitable for robots and they are probably going to be faster, stronger, and better than us at a lot of things. Our inability to comprehend human behavior and abstract concepts such as trust, love, and creativity may inhibit them from being truly “human-like” yet they can still be more human than they should be. Unless there is a legitimate reason why the majority of human kind would benefit from a human-like robot, this is an endeavor that should not be pursued. There is nothing inherently wrong with having human-like robots but their existence may hinder our relationships with other people and result in us neglecting the important things in life such as friendship, sympathy and even marriage. I am a strong supporter for this particular normative statement because the idea of losing human interaction frightens me. As old fashioned as it may be, I enjoy talking to the clerks at the grocery store and striking up conversations with strangers, even though I don’t do this very often. I think that preserving these everyday interactions is really important so we should keep replacing human interactions with robotic ones to a minimum. Doing so will help us maintain what we have left of the feeling of community and connecting with the people around us instead of living self-absorbed lives in our own personal bubbles. We should all embrace and cherish our human interactions instead of trying to create things that are supposed give us companionship and other things that we already get from other humans.

Source for Reference: Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together

We ought to respect people’s privacy even though technology gives us access to personal and private information.

As we discussed in class, the Internet provides lots of personal information that is not intended for the general public, on many people. The content we upload onto social media such as Facebook and Twitter is virtually accessible to anyone who has a strong enough desire to get to it. But, just because we have access to this information doesn’t mean that we should use it without them knowing, especially when it could be harmful to the other person. There have been controversies about people losing their jobs or not getting hired based on the pictures they uploaded on Facebook. People who enforce laws such as police, resident advisers and others using these pictures to incriminate people may also be something that can be controversial. Our online accounts are personal so people should respect these boundaries as they respect boundaries for personal property. Simultaneously, the Internet and social media also make it easy for spreading false rumors and information. Programs such as Photoshop can make it easy for people to alter pictures to create false evidence to support these false claims. Easy distribution of this type of information can be really harmful for peoples’ reputations and futures. There is a reason why people set their profiles to “private.” We should all respect their wishes and stop prying for information. Just because no one is watching over a person’s shoulders or by their side doesn’t meant that they aren’t invading other people’s privacy. Turkle mentions how her grandmother always boasted about how other people could not have access to her personal mailbox. The stuff we put online should be the same way. There should be regulations limiting people’s access to personal information and repercussions for those who fail to stay within these limits. While I’m sure that all of us have enough common sense to gauge what is appropriate to post online for everyone to see, and what is not, being able to do this without having to worry about the consequences is something that should be guaranteed by our freedom of expression. This is why it is imperative that we fight for our right for privacy and free expression.

Source for Reference: Group 3 class presentation/discussion question #4 regarding privacy

We shouldn’t abuse the use of technology and use it to give ourselves an unfair advantage over others, especially without the other people knowing about it.

While steroids, Red Bull, Adderall, and plastic surgery effects a small portion of our population, there is a chance that we will have other, more significant ways to enhance our performance in the near future. In Alone Together, Turkle mentions the cyborgs at MIT. In Christian’s book, there was a section on professor Kevin Warwick, who is “also known in the press sometimes as the ‘world’s first cyborg.” (215) Attaching various pieces of equipment to our selves in order to have easier access to the web or an extra limb doesn’t seem like a fair advantage to have over others. While this is great for efficiency, I don’t think people with these super powers are fair competition for what are still “normal” for the rest of us. I’m not exactly saying that the self-enhancement process should be banned but that it should be controlled and restrained. It would be encroaching on someone’s free will if we banned them from adding pieces to themselves, unless it was done with malevolent intentions, but this should be done more for personal leisure and convenience. I think this is important for keeping a level playing field for everyone. While this may not be a problem in the future, when everyone has access to these enhancements, it is something we should consider in the present. We should all take this seriously since something like this could work to our disadvantage when competing for a job.

Sources of Reference: Sherry Turke Alone Together, Brian Christian The Most Human Human: What talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to be Alive, Group 5 Discussion/Presentation

We ought to stop using technology to mislead, and even deceive, others into believing we are something we are not.

Full disclosure is important when it comes to creating deep, meaningful relationships with others. New technologies make it easy for us to conceal or distort our identities in order to please certain audiences. These technologies also make it difficult for us not alter the way others may perceive us in certain aspects. It is impossible for us to present everything that makes us who we are because we are complicated beings. In Turkle’s book she interviews teens who admit that they don’t always accurately portray themselves on their Facebook pages and such, but this is to an extent, harmless because it is among people who we are already supposed to know and have connections with. They would know that there is more to you than what you put up on the online profile. We still can’t forget that what we decide to share can cause us to present ourselves in a certain light that could be misrepresentatives of our whole self. We should do our best not to intentionally cause these misunderstandings. This may be important because sharing inaccurate information to a severe degree could cause people to feel betrayed and lied to once they figure out that the person they thought they knew is different from the person they extrapolated from the clues they received. We tend to call out our friends for being “fake” when interacting with people face to face so why should it be any different online? Being ethical about what we lead others to believe is something that we should do just out of respect for others because we would want people to like us for who we really are, not someone we want them to see us as.

Sources of Reference: Sherry Turke Alone Together