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Would you turn off the robot, if it asked you not to?

robots people

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Poll: Would you turn off the robot, if it asked you not to? (11 member(s) have cast votes)

Would you turn off the Robot if it asked you not to?

  1. Yes (5 votes [45.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 45.45%

  2. No (4 votes [36.36%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.36%

  3. Don't know (2 votes [18.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.18%

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    Democratic Socialist Materialist

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People refused to turn off Robot when it asked them not to........




In a study, published in the   journal PLOS, 89 people were recruited to complete a pair of tasks with the help of Nao, a small humanoid robot.
They were told that the tasks were to improve Nao’s learning algorithms, and scientists asked participants to turn off the robot after completing the task.

The robot asked 43 participants not to turn it off. The robot told them that it was afraid of never turning back on.
Surprisingly 13 Participants  accepted the Robot's request, they didn't turn off the robot. Remaining 30 people who turned off the Robot were also took more time to take the decision.


In this scenario, would you turn off the robot?



I think I wouldn't, however I'm pretty sure I wouldn't try to stop someone else doing it, so not sure what that says about me?


  • Yuli Ban likes this



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The robot have no consciousness, so the robot by itself doesnt know tha he exists. It have no emotions, so it can not be hurt. The afraid is an instinct that belongs only to the living things - so this robot actually it didnt feel afraid. But if it uses sad voice to manipulate people, then the people may will not turn it off.

However, i wont turn him off...

This is my opinion.



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I'd say "of course not" and then turn it off with teary eyes and a tight throat.
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The Prophet (saw) said: He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah.

Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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Really depends on the level of intelligence it has. Because I have schizotypal personality disorder, I am both unusually empathic as well as unusually resistant to peer pressure so I probably would hesitate if it asked me but recognize that it was not actually a sentient person as long as it had narrow AI. In that case, I'd understand that "it" wasn't asking me to leave it on because it wanted to remain on but instead because it was programmed to say that with no understanding of the consequences. 

It's no different than a light switch that has a little notification attached saying "Please don't turn me off, I light up the room!" Even if there are follow up notifications asking me why I turned it off when "it" asked not to, I'll know those are preprogrammed. The only reason why I would accept its request is because of the cute novelty of doing so.


As more expert-level and general-level AI becomes feasible, it will indeed become harder as social robots that do ask to not be turned off will be allowed to have some understanding of the consequences. It's hard to explain why adding more intelligence imbues more empathy into people. If at some point a robot's intelligence were at a level I could respect at least as a quasi-person, then if it asked me to not turn it off I really would struggle to do so and, perhaps, obey its request. At some later point, I'd feel a moral obligation to let it stay on for the same reason I would not kill a person. The question then is, "where is that point?"

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.



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Yeah, I think that's more or less the rational path to take.


I have been thinking about this and I think I basically have so much self doubt going on that I am basically never really certain of anything. Which is why I think I would always leave it on because what if I was wrong! At the same time if some sensible scientist came in and said "don't be an idiot, its not alive" and turned it off I wouldn't fight it. 


Of course when AI is actually approaching the point where sapience might be remotely possible then I'd be much more likely to cause problems. 

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