Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pat Lin on Ethical Robots

Patrick Lin was interviewed by Courtney Boyd Meyers for an article in TheNextWeb. The interview is titled, Ethical Robotics and Why We Really Fear Bad Robots.
Apart from military uses, robots today are raising difficult questions about whether we ought to use them to babysit children and as companions to the elderly, in lieu of real human contact. Job displacement and economic impact have been concerns with any new technology since the Industrial Revolution, such as the Luddite riots to smash factory machinery that was replacing workers. Medical, especially surgical robots, raise issues related to liability or responsibility, say, if an error occurred that harmed the patient, and some fear a loss of surgical skill among humans. And given continuing angst about privacy, robots present the same risk that computers do (that is, “traitorware” that captures and transmits user information and location without our knowledge or consent), if not a greater risk given that we may be more trusting of an anthropomorphized robot than a laptop computer.

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