Comment Of The Day Weekend Continues! Comment Of The Day : “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/30/2017: Is Robert Mueller Biased? …Is President Trump A Robot?

A single line in this morning’s  Warm-Up sparked this fascinating exposition by Ash. Here was the context:

Jay Malsky, an actor who has appeared in drag as Hillary Clinton. Melsky, while watching  the Hall of Presidents attraction at Disney World, began shouting at the audio-animatronic Donald Trump. (The Huffington Post said he “mercilessly” heckled the robot, showing  derangement of its own. Robots don’t need mercy, and you can’t “heckle” one either.)

Here is Ash’s Comment of the Day, primarily a quote but a perfectly chosen one, on the post, Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/30/2017: Is Robert Mueller Biased? Are The Patriots Cheating Again? Is Larry Tribe Deranged? Is President Trump A Robot?: 

“Robots don’t need mercy, and you can’t “heckle” one either.”

You should date this and file it, because I guarantee you, the way you treat Siri and Alexa and Cortana and Ok Google is *already* being described as problematic.

“Sexual harassment: there are no limits…According to Dr Sweeney, research indicates virtual assistants like Siri and Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa find themselves fending off endless sexual solicitations and abuse from users. But because humans don’t (yet) attach agency or intelligence to their devices, they’re remarkably uninhibited about abusing them. Both academic research and anecdotal observation on man/machine interfaces suggest raised voices and vulgar comments are more common than not. It’s estimated that about 10% to 50% of interactions are abusive, according to Dr. Sheryl Brahnam in a TechEmergence interview late last year. Continue reading

The 8th Annual Ethics Alarms Awards: The Worst of Ethics 2016, Part 2

pope-trump

Part II of the Worst continues with education horrors, legal outrages, the Lie of the Year, and more.

Above? That’s obviously the…

Fake News of the Year.

Now the rest..it doesn’t get any better.

Biggest KABOOM! 

exploding-head

The YMCA Slavery Recreation.  You know, even looking through this category was dangerous. I had forgotten about all these stories, which, by definition, were all horrible. This one, from February, however, had to be the winner. The YMCA Storer Camps in Jackson, Michigan included an “educational” activity called “Underground Railroad” in which black children were asked to play runaway slaves, as some teachers and camp instructors acted as slave masters, chasing them down using real horses. Once captured, the children were “auctioned off.” The principal of the school that subjected its pre-teen students to the slavery simulations rather than the other better known YMCA camp activities like nature hikes, kayaking, canoeing, horseback riding and sitting around campfires responded that he didn’t expect the uproar, since no student had ever complained before.

Most Unethical High School Discipline

Red Mountain High School  in Mesa, Arizona. On a dare from a friend, high school football player Hunter Osborn briefly flashed his naughty bits in the team photo. Nobody noticed, including the yearbook’s faculty advisor, so the photo was published in the school yearbook.  Months later, the gag was discovered. Even though the photo was so small that offending nudity was virtually invisible to the naked eye, the school had Osborn was arrested and charged with 69 counts of indecent exposure. The charges were dropped because none of the 69 “victims” pressed charges.

Most Unethical No-Tolerance Action

hazel-tweet

John Glenn High School in Suburban Detroit.  The offense: “Inappropriate use of electronics in the restroom.” The conduct: Hazel Juco, a 17-year-old student, went to the school’s bathroom to wash her hands. When she turned on the faucet, ugly brown water came out. She then used her cell-phone to take photos of the discolored water and posted it to Facebook and Twitter.

She was suspended, but eventually social media and the local news vindicated her. The water was polluted, and the school district admitted that Hazel was punished for doing the right thing.

Most Unethical School Teacher

(Excluding Rapists)

A Tie! 

1. Malik Leigh, a teacher in Palm Beach Lakes High School’s pre-law academy a kindergarten teacher at Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary on Bainbridge Island, Washington

Leigh’s specialty is indoctrination. Aming his exam questions last year…

“If Donald Trump becomes president of the United states, we are:

A.) Screwed

B.) Screwed

C.) Screwed

D.) Screwed behind a really YUGE wall that Mexico pays for.”

and…

“When performing an opening statement, it is best to:

A. Wink at the Judge

B. find the hottest person on the Jury and focus your words on them

C. Speak to them as if they are cordial friends.

D. Treat them like the MORONS they are.”

He was suspended.

Good.

2. “Jill Watson.” You can’t be a more unethical teacher than when you’re not a teacher at all. Or human.

Naked Teacher of the Year

Leigh Anne Arthur, In a completely warped and unfair application of the Naked Teacher Principle, school district officials in Union County demanded and received the resignation of the engineering teacher  after a student stole her phone, examined its contents and found a semi-nude selfie  intended for her husband’s enjoyment only.The student, who  warned her that “something bad was coming,” sent the images to other students through text messages and social media Arthur sued the school board for wrongful termination, but recently dropped the suit.  The student was charged with a computer crime and voyeurism. The Naked Teacher Principle holds that

A secondary school teacher or administrator (or other role model for children) who allows pictures of himself or herself to be widely publicized, as on the web, showing the teacher naked or engaging in sexually provocative poses, cannot complain when he or she is dismissed by the school as a result. The first formulation of the NTP can be found here.

This obviously does not apply to Arthur. Ironically it would apply to the incoming First Lady if she were a teacher, and arguably applies still, since the First Lady is a role model.

Double Standard Of The Year

pelosi-tweet

Progressives and Democrats, who performed an immediate U-turn as soon Donald Trump won the election, and after having expressing outrage and indignation when Trump had suggested, about a month earlier, that he might not “accept the results of the election,” which he had claimed was “rigged,” immediately challenged the results of the election, and claimed it was rigged.

And they are still doing it today.

 Lie of the Year

and

Jumbo of the Year

Jumbo film Continue reading

“Oh, Didn’t We Tell You? Your Teaching Assistant Is A Robot!”

"Uh, class, about my teaching assistant Jill..."

“Uh, class, about my teaching assistant Jill…”

Talk about a lack of transparency.

Students in a class  at the Georgia Institute of Technology were recently stunned to discover that the teaching assistant they knew as “Jill Watson” all semesterwas actually a an on-line artificial intelligence program..

A creation of IBM’s Watson analytics system, “Jill” helped graduate students by answering their questions for  an online artificial intelligence course. Professor Ashok Goel, who led the online course, told The Wall Street Journal that Jill was designed to help burdened TAs field an onslaught of questions from the 300-person class. He did not tell the publication why the school chose to let students think Jill was “a real, live, girl,” as the song goes. This is, and I realize that since the Professor in in the field of computer science and not philosophy, political science  or management, so he may be unfamiliar with the concept, something that is known as perpetrating ” big lie.”

Another story about the incident in Geek Wire notes that “some say it sets a bad precedent.”

Ya think?

I supposed now is as good a time as any to tell you that “Jack Marshall” is really just a private AI program set up in Hillary Clinton’s bathroom.

Unethical Artificial Intelligence Teenaged Girl Web Bot Of The Month: Microsoft’s “Tay”

Tay

Developers in Microsoft’s Technology and Research and Bing teams made “Tay,” an Artificial Intelligence web-bot, to “experiment with and conduct research on conversational understanding.” She spoke in text, memes and emoji on severalf different platforms, including Kik, Groupme and Twitter ‘”like a teen girl.”  Microsoft marketed her as “The AI with zero chill.” You could chat with Tay by tweeting or  Direct Messaging  the bot at @tayandyou on Twitter. Though she was programmed to use millennial slang and be up to date on pop culture, she was, like Arnold the good cyborg in “Terminator 2,”  designed so she would learn from her online interactions with humans, and you know how ethical humans are.

Within 24 hours, Tay was asking strangers she called “daddy” to “fuck” her, expressing doubts that the Holocaust was real and saying things  like “Bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job than the monkey we have got now;” “Donald Trump is the only hope we’ve got;” “Repeat after me, Hitler did nothing wrong” and “Ted Cruz is the Cuban Hitler…that’s what I’ve heard so many others say.” For Tay, becoming more human meant becoming a vulgar, sex-obsessed, racist, anti-Semitic, Nazi-loving Trump supporter.

Imagine what her values would be like in 48 hours. Wisely, Microsoft is not willing to chance it, and Tay is now unplugged and awaiting either reprogramming or replacement. One of Tay’s last tweets was,

“Okay. I’m done. I feel used.”

Oh, yes, this artificial intelligence stuff is bound to work out well.

____________________

Pointer: Althouse

Weekend Ethics Catch-Up

If you took an ethics break this last weekend of February, here’s your Ethics Alarms make-up assignment: