Well, I can point that same argument at you as well. You seem to pretend to not understand a very simple argument; which is that most ethical things usually have arguments both ways; which indeed makes them far from simple. Simply put, there's no such thing as unethical. IMHO, I find most arguments involving ethics/moralism to be entirely unproductive.

Some of the things you are listing are not ethical problems but simply being complicit in something criminal. Simple: don't do that unless you are willing to go to jail. Other things are a lot less clear cut.

My observation is that whenever people are talking about ethics what they are really worried about is feeling good about what they do. This includes how things are perceived by others. Killing people with AI is scary. Not something I'd want to be associated with either.

But I do acknowledge that it is technically feasible to build this stuff and have to assume that several regimes I'm not comfortable with at all are actively pursuing this. Given that, I think it is ethically responsible to try to keep up with that and not be defenseless. Washing your hands in innocence might seem ethically responsible but sometimes there's value in parking the ethics and doing the pragmatic thing. I'm glad the Chinese have some competition when it comes to these things.

So when Google bowed to internal pressure this had nothing to do with the outcome: building weaponized AI for the defense industry and killing terrorists, for whatever fashionable definition of that. It had everything to do with how their users and employees felt about being a part of that.

The real ethical problem was not building this stuff but going against the will of these people and doing this behind their backs.

I find that interesting. To be clear, if I was a Google employee, I'd be interested in the fact that "do no evil" no now included collaborating on stuff like this as well. There are very few ways to spin that right.

When it comes to programmers and doing the right thing (inherently subjective) or not doing the right thing in exchange for money/job security, this is a real problem.

Simply put, there's no such thing as unethical. IMHO, I find most arguments involving ethics/moralism to be entirely unproductive.

I don't understand probably because I don't agree with your reference point. I do believe that unethical things exist but I know they change in time and space. Fluidity is what makes this topic hard but important at the same time.

The real ethical problem was not building this stuff but going against the will of these people and doing this behind their backs.

I think it's both, and again, the fact that I don't agree with you is why we're having this conversation at all.

When it comes to programmers and doing the right thing (inherently subjective) or not doing the right thing in exchange for money/job security, this is a real problem.

Yes, and that's why we need to do better.

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