Will AI mean the end of personal responsibility?

AI, once the stuff of science fiction and experimental research, is increasingly making its mark upon the consumer world, from intelligent software to virtual assistants and even in our faithful smartphones. As we trust more and more important tasks to AI, are we in danger letting go of the idea of personal responsibility?

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Can Facebook clean up its act?

The social media giant has assembled a team of experts to spot abuses and protect the company’s reputation. But what do security experts think?

Technology companies like to talk about the huge benign changes their products will bring about. Take Facebook, with its mission to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”. Or Google, which wants to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Microsoft hopes to “empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more”. Even Snapchat, which opens its corporate bio with the humble claim that “Snap Inc is a camera company”, can’t help but note: “We contribute to human progress by empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.”

Such statements demonstrate the scale of ambition that is the norm among technology’s largest companies. It is rare, however, to find much time or effort dedicated to the unplanned consequences of world-beating new technologies.

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