Constitutionality of things


#1

With the debate going back and forth about whether something is constitutional, I am reminded of old science fiction stories where they used a computer to judge rather than depend on the emotionality of judges who pledge to uphold the constitution but in reality wear their biases on their sleeves. With our court system set up supposedly to deal with bringing things to a higher court to clarify things the truth is that does not always work.

Go back a few years to a presidential election between Al Gore and Bush and how the courts bounced the case from court to court and the rulings were tailored to the makeup of the political leanings of the judges.

I have been reading the debate concerning Judge Robert and his turning from conservative values to uphold Obamacare and making the argument that it is a tax while Obama and company swore it was not.

Now if we could truthfully program a computer which had no bias, unlike voting machines that voted for Obama when Rommey was selected, with all the case law and pertinent information available would that appease people?

That computer would not be influenced by lawyers who use feelings and emotion or out and out deception to sway the outcome. Of course the major hurdle would be gathering the information an presenting it with out bias.


#2

There’s even the issue of programming it correctly. Even a programmer might be able to project his bias a little into a case.


#3

I have been reading the debate concerning Judge Robert and his turning from conservative values to uphold Obamacare and making the argument that it is a tax while Obama and company swore it was not.

I’ve dealt with this complete fiction in another thread. The government ARGUED that it was a tax. Roberts and the majority agreed. It does not matter what politicians say…only what arguments can be made and supported in court.
I disagree with the decision but it is QUITE CONSERVATIVE in that Roberts states that it is the Courts’ responsibility to defer to the legislature AND consider every legitimate way to find a law CONSTITUTIONAL rather than be activist and try to make law in the Court. He also goes on to say that the governments’ additional argument that the law is within the commerce clause powers IS unconstitutional. The government cannot order someone INTO commerce. This may be an overlooked but very important point in FUTURE cases that limits the Commerce Clause application.


#4

I think at some point we will get to this. In fact, I am writing a novel dealing with this exact thing. Though it’s the President that is a Robot and not the Supreme Court.

It’s the same thing with online voting. Online voting is so much more secure than ballot boxes that can get tipped over, mixed, burned, stolen, lost, and delayed indefinitely. When you put it into perspective and put the best people on the solution, I am sure we can make a fool proof system for online voting and eventually, online political discourse.

Most of our lives are already online. This will just be a matter of time. Interesting thought.


#5

Computers only reflect what the programmer tells it to do.


#6

Except that the language the computer uses is logic. 1s and 0s. Computers cannot be formed by political ideology. We have computers that can run massive war-time scenarios none based on politics. Just different variables happening at different times. We have Watson, who contains a massive dictionary and vocabulary and easily beat Jeopardy’s World Champion Ken Jennings. This is all logic. There is no fear of programmers programming “an agenda” into a computer and there is nothing to suggest otherwise.


#7

Have you even take a basic computer class?

I’ll repeat what I said: Computers only reflect what the programmer tells it to do.

I can program a computer to be as biased or unbiased as I want it to be.


#8

Yes, I have actually. I happen to have a degree in computer science. And know and understand most of the popular languages out there. HTML, PHP, MYSQL, BASIC, CSS and C++ are only some of the languages I know and understand. I assure you that there is no way to code a biased program.


#9

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:6, topic:37265”]
Computers cannot be formed by political ideology.
[/quote]Computers do exactly and precisely what a developer tells them to do. The extent of their “logic” is exactly THAT. The phrase “Garbage in, Garbage out” (“GIGO”) is relevant here.

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:6, topic:37265”]
We have computers that can run massive war-time scenarios none based on politics.
[/quote]If a developer tells a computer that A = 1, and A also = the text string “Iranians”, and B = 2, and B also = a nuclear capability, and 3 = Peace, and I tell it to add A and B, then the computer result will unequivocally be that if the Iranians secure a nuclear capability, we will have peace. It will apply the “logic” that 1 + 2 = 3, but the string that it spits out as a result . . . well, tell me that’s not a Dem computer with a political bias.


#10

It’s irrelevant since strings don’t actually do anything! Did you know that the operating system you are currently running and the Microsoft programs you are currently running was probably coded by a liberal???

Bill Gates is a staunch liberal and so is most of the people who worked for him. It’s a known fact that most computer programmers are progressives or liberals.

That doesn’t mean he makes liberal programs, since it is impossible for microsoft word to be liberal…

We wouldn’t charge computers with crimes of setting off nuclear bombs, we would charge the terrorists behind these acts.


#11

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:10, topic:37265”]
It’s irrelevant since strings don’t actually do anything!
[/quote]If the computer was told to initiate an action based on a string output, or even on the numerical output of “3”, than yes, it will most certainly do something. The “if . . . then . . .” statement.

I wouldn’t want a computer controlling my future for precisely this reason.

The old movie, “War Games”, with Mathew Broderick, was instructive. Granted, it was a fantasy, nevertheless it demonstrated a potentially horrible outcome that was realistic and was remedied ONLY by humans, NOT computers. Computers can screw things up just as much as humans . . . sometimes even “better”.

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:10, topic:37265”]
Did you know that the operating system you are currently running and the Microsoft programs you are currently running was probably coded by a liberal???
[/quote]Clearly, if you were programming a computer to tell me things about my OS and application software, you would have made an incorrect assumption to begin with . . . the very “bias” you say a computer can’t have. While it may be correct in what it says about Micro$oft, it would be totally incorrect in telling me about “my” OS and software.

I am a ‘nix kinda’ guy, plus all my software comes from the Canonical repository, which as I’'m sure you know, is NOT coded by the 500 pound gorilla. Granted, Linus Benedict Torvalds and Mark Richard Suttleworth are likely liberals too, nevertheless that doesn’t diminish the fact that your assumptions, and hence that computer advising me on Micro$oft, are totally incorrect because of . . . BIAS.

No, I’m not a 'nix fanboy . . . I would dump them in a heartbeat if I felt that my needs weren’t being met.

BTW, here is my UserAgentString: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux i686; rv:17.0) Gecko/17.0 Firefox/17.0


#12

A computer is supposed to follow your commands, but the computer itself cannot make a political decision, and I cannot see a scenario where a program can be programmed to be liberal or conservative. It hasn’t happened yet! The algorithms used to run Wall Street aren’t politically motivated. The automatic resume checkers in HR departments aren’t motivated by beliefs. The computers in the airports can only point out suspicious activity based on a number of variables programmed by policy and it is up to the human counterpart to decide if such a suspicious person should be allowed to fly.

The computer doesn’t know that you own the software. You after all license it. It just gives you the information you asked for. If that’s bias to you then the very concept this thread is talking about, a non-bias supreme court, is indeed impossible! It is also saying that each and every computer system is biased in some way since it was coded originally by a human. Then, does the bias really matter? And what is the bias? However, the problem I think Sam, was trying to solve was the political bias of politicians and judges who are supposed to be non-bias. I believe computers no doubt can do a much better job at this because they do not have political bias.

In the Trayvon Martin case you could have given a computer all the facts and details. Run whatever guilty/innocence algorithm which could be a deciding factor since in the trial it would be impossible for a non-bias jury to be selected after the media storm that quickly blew up around the case. So in special circumstances a computer judge/jury could be used as a stepping stone, yet it brings up a whole slew of other questionable constitutional rights such as is a computer now consider a “peer.” Since a jury can only be made up of one’s peers. Robotic Rights need to come into play, I think before this can happen.

However it remains to be seen if such a system can be created to be completely bias. Because since the computer would have been created by a human, no less, would it see itself as imperfect to its own programming? It is likely however, that such a system may not even attempt to ask that question. Machines already have different processes than we do. So it’s likely it will “think” in a completely foreign way to us. Much will be debated about this in the future, and as for now we can only speculate on what will be the philosophical implications of giving such power to a machine.


#13

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
A computer is supposed to follow your commands, but the computer itself cannot make a political decision
[/quote]And the person who tells the computer what commands to follow does not have ANY bias formed by political beliefs? Are you saying a computer only has unbiased commands? I understand that you’re saying once a computer HAS those commands, it follows them EXACTLY and WITHOUT bias, and I agree with that. But who put in those commands in the first place?

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
and I cannot see a scenario where a program can be programmed to be liberal or conservative. It hasn’t happened yet!
[/quote]Have you been living under a rock? See below for why I ask that.

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
The algorithms used to run Wall Street aren’t politically motivated.
[/quote]Agreed, but then are you extrapolating that to conclude that ALL commands are not biased?

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
The automatic resume checkers in HR departments aren’t motivated by beliefs.
[/quote]Same question as above.

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
The computers in the airports can only point out suspicious activity based on a number of variables programmed by policy and it is up to the human counterpart to decide if such a suspicious person should be allowed to fly.
[/quote]Now you’ve gone over the top here. Two things.

First of all, that “suspicious activity” you refer to. Was the description of that designed by an unbiased TSA person/contractor?

Secondly, what about “profiling”? The Dems, of course, consider that illegal. Some states, notably here in Arizona, consider it justifiable, and even go on to argue that what they’re doing does NOT meet the definition of profiling as the Dems consider it.

So is the TSA run by BHO and the Dems, is it run by Arizona, or are you saying it’s totally a-political? (That, BTW, is why I asked you if you were living under a rock.)

Now you might have noticed that the Israeli’s don’t have what you would think would be the rate of terrorism at their airports. (Yes, they do have more than we have, but not as much as would be expected considering their position in the region.)

Know why that is? Simple . . . they profile. IOW, they give their security commands in computers a bias . . . one that keeps the level of terrorism down.

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
The computer doesn’t know that you own the software. You after all license it. It just gives you the information you asked for.
[/quote]I’m confused. How are the first two sentences pertinent? Of course it doesn’t know what software I own, but it indeed follows an incorrect assumption, a bias, nevertheless.

And as far as the third sentence, NO, in the scenario of being a 'nix user, the computer would NOT give me the answer I would ask for. It would likely spit out an error, an error moreover caused by bias.

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
If that’s bias to you then the very concept this thread is talking about, a non-bias supreme court, is indeed impossible!
[/quote]Why would you think it would be possible? Desirous? Of course. Reality? Not on this planet. On planet Utopia, maybe, but not here. Computers are not the panacea you or the OP think they are.

BTW, computers controlled some of the voting machines in some states. It is likely that the Dems defeated them and perhaps even hacked them. And, NO, I’m not a Conspiracy Theorist, but is possible the Chicago thugs did this.

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
It is also saying that each and every computer system is biased in some way since it was coded originally by a human.
[/quote]Yes, that’s EXACTLY what I’m saying.

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
Then, does the bias really matter?
[/quote]Of course it does, but it will always be with us. As long as some people think white wine is superior to red wine, the moon is ugly or the moon is beautiful, IE is superior to FF. etc., IOW as long as people have different opinions and impose them on their environment, computers being part of that environment.

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
And what is the bias?
[/quote]You might define it different than I would, hence your computer would have your bias definition, and mine would have mine . . . the two possibly being different, but each for sure reflecting our definitions of “bias”. A bias in itself perhaps.

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
Sam, was trying to solve was the political bias of politicians and judges who are supposed to be non-bias.
[/quote]A noble pursuit perhaps, but sort of like Don Quihoté tilting at windmills.

And it might be more accurate to say " . . .politicians and judges who are supposed to be AS non-bias AS POSSIBLE."

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
In the Trayvon Martin case you could have given a computer all the facts and details. Run whatever guilty/innocence algorithm
[/quote]And who would design that algorithm? Can you find a person on the planet that does not have a bias? And if you would have your mythical non-biased computer do it, who designed the algorithm for THAT computer. You get into an endless cycle of “first cause” questions.

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
So it’s likely it will “think” in a completely foreign way to us
[/quote]So do we really want this AI?

[quote=“jjf3rd77, post:12, topic:37265”]
I believe computers no doubt can do a much better job at this because they do not have political bias.
[/quote]At the end of the day, it may be perhaps prudent just to say we flat out disagree, rather than hijack this thread for our own speculative philosophical discussion.

You’ve convinced me of one thing: I absolutely disagree with you. However, please don’t take my tone as abrasive. I enjoyed the debate, just don’t want to hijack this thread anymore. Probably be better if you PM’d me if you want to go further.


#14

I will not trust judicial outcome to a computer. It is a machine that does what the programmer telss it to do. Even if the code has ZERO BIAS programed into it, code can become corrupted in very subtle ways.


#15
  1. One word: Hacked.
  1. No, they can sure be programmed to give a result desired result (global warming (horse) hockey-stick curve, anyone?).
  1. :coffee_spray: Bravo Sierra! If my old Commodore 64 were still working and I blew the dust off my very limited skills in the area, I could write a biased program in BASIC!
  1. Then I have to wonder about your claimed credentials.
  2. It gives a response to input according to its programming. Even though the machine language does everything logically, you can still program the thing to tell you that 2+2=5.

#16

Yeah, you’re telling an old programmer who made a living for 25 years programming computers that you can’t program a biased program.

You can even do it by mistake! The code set may be purely logical, as has already been said, but the code will do only what the programmer tells it to do.


#17

You guys are missing the point. The code isn’t bias to the computer. Only to the people on the various isles of the political spectrum, and to the computer that has little meaning.

The global warming stuff was taken out of context by HUMAN counterparts. The computer only showed them what they wanted to see. For instance they measured data from the past 100 years not the past 1000 years. So I suppose that as of right now, there is no way to code a so-called non-bias program to work in this fashion. Especially in today’s political climate.

However, we already do have intelligence programs that can detect terrorists. Yet, the emotional left goes crazy whenever we get it wrong. That a guy wasn’t a terrorist. We don’t give the computer the power to try and execute them. That part is still up to humans and I’m not sure we will ever give the computer full power to do that. Computers are at this point tools to make human processes faster.

Yet, we can use the same terrorist tracking software to help make the decision process for the Supreme Court that much easier. Like, say a computer who can read and organize lengthy bills and compare them to the constitution. If it goes above or below a certain constitutional margin the bill is edited to fit within constitutional boundaries. If the constitution is truly the Biblical Document to uphold all laws in the US, then this shouldn’t be a problem for any computer. Though, the constitution was written by humans and humans have different views about what the constitution means. Yet, I believe the justices will still have the final say.

Unless we ourselves become AIs. AKA Battlestar Galactica.


#18

No, I’m not missing the point; the point is that the software can be gamed for biased RESULTS.


#19

You all are thinking like humans. You have to see it from the computer’s point of view. It doesn’t see bias code. It just spits out the information you tell it to. Therefore no code can be politically bias because computers aren’t political.

Besides there are already programs that can measure the bias of a news article out there. If you knew the political background of each famous scientific discovery would you immediately disregard it as false because he/she might be a liberal? NO! and it will work the same way with computers analyzing raw data.

I’ll use the famous, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” line here.


#20

Really, from what school?

A program can be as biased as you want it to be.

While a computer lacks the capability of reviewing individual court cases, even if it could, it has to base its interpretation off of the knowledge it has. A programmer gives it that knowledge.