The book by Mary Shelley “Frankenstein, or the modern Prometheus” has inspired many Hollywood scenarios. The fear that is addressed in the book can also be triggered when people are confronted with applications of artificial intelligence. The anatomy of this fear for the artificial, our digital look-alikes, is the starting point for this report. The four FrankensteinFactors we describe provide insight into the underlying question where this fear comes from. The uncanny feeling that robots and automata can raise has been explained by psychoanalysts. Classical psychiatry (such as Sigmund Freud and Ernst Jentsch) and the more modern existential variant (such as Irvin Yalom) both shine an interesting light here.
Emotions are explosive material, they should not be ignored. Organizations aware of the FrankensteinFactors increase the likelihood of AI success. Advise from the report: Start the dialogue with the environment (customers and employees), full transparency concerning the functioning of AI-algorithms and make human values central to the AI plans. A recent European resolution and guidelines drawn up by science and industry (Asilomar principles) provide the concrete tools for dealing with this. The report outlines the state of affairs in the current debate on superintelligence (and superstupidity) and unfolds cultural and psychological relationships that explain the fear of AI.