The ethical regulator theorem provides a basis for systematically evaluating the adequacy of existing or proposed designs for systems that make decisions that can have ethical consequences; regardless of whether the regulating agents are humans, machines, cyberanthropic hybrids, organizations, corporations, or government institutions.
The theorem builds upon the law of requisite variety and the good regulator theorem to define nine requisites that are necessary and sufficient for a cybernetic regulator to be both effective and ethical:
Of these nine requisites, only six are necessary for a regulator to be effective. If a system does not need to be ethical, the three requisites ethics, integrity, and transparency are optional.
- Truth about the past and present.
- Variety of possible actions.
- Predictability of the future effects of actions.
- Purpose expressed as unambiguously prioritized goals.
- Ethics expressed as unambiguously prioritized rules.
- Intelligence to choose the best actions.
- Influence on the system being regulated.
- Integrity of all subsystems.
- Transparency of ethical behaviour.
A six-level framework is proposed for classifying cybernetic systems, which highlights a future time-line bifurcation that results in one of two mutually exclusive outcomes:
- The human race is protected by superintelligent, ethically adequate "super-ethical" systems.
- The human race is dominated by superintelligent, ethically inadequate "super-unethical" systems.
For more information, see the PDF: Ethical Regulators and Super-Ethical Systems.
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