This chapter discusses the new frontiers of ethics in the new artificial intelligent (AI) technologies and how these new frontiers are affecting the traditional ethical and social values. Our discussion is based on the premise that artificial intelligence technologies create possibilities to understand and extend human knowledge to create intelligent agents perhaps with a human–value base, intended to help solve human problems. However, as we strive to extend human knowledge, are we transgressing against the law of God, as it is deeply rooted in the minds and hearts of many who still believe that the human quest for knowledge must eventually lead to disaster? Although this belief has not been affected by current philosophical and scientific advances, it has instead produced the Frankenstein monster syndrome of fear of new advances in intelligence, particularly machine intelligence. It is this fear that has been the source of controversy in the field of artificial intelligence and has the potential to hinder its development.
We discuss the two schools of thought that have formed around the debate of artificial intelligence and the future of humanity. These are in one school are those who take a dark view of AI contributions, labeling all AI activities as research gone wrong, “mad scientist” research in the spirit of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In contrast to these naysayers are those in the other school who see the future of AI as very beneficial to humanity. They see a fruitful partnership with the agents in which the agents are relieving us of all our dangerous and tedious tasks, making our lives a little easier and helping us reach our ultimate goal of the good life. They further believe that we will learn more about ourselves in the attempt to construct something like ourselves. Will we become better as human beings in what we do and how we do it? Will the success of AI and the creation of ourselves bring us to the full understanding of our inadequacies and belittle our human experience? We ask the reader to ponder these questions as we end the chapter.