Archive for the ‘robot ethics’ tag

Dec 15, 2015

When Will We Look Robots in the Eye?

Posted by in categories: ethics, human trajectories, robotics/AI

In the various incarnations of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, a sentient robot named Marvin the Paranoid Android serves on the starship Heart of Gold. Because he is never assigned tasks that challenge his massive intellect, Marvin is horribly depressed, always quite bored, and a burden to the humans and aliens around him. But he does write nice lullabies.

While Marvin is a fictional robot, Scholar and Author David Gunkel predicts that sentient robots will soon be a fact of life and that mankind needs to start thinking about how we’ll treat such machines, at present and in the future.

For Gunkel, the question is about moral standing and how we decide if something does or does not have moral standing. As an example, Gunkel notes our children have moral standing, while a rock or our smartphone may not have moral consideration. From there, he said, the question becomes, where and how do we draw the line to decide who is inside and who is outside the moral community?

“Traditionally, the qualities for moral standing are things like rationality, sentience (and) the ability to use languages. Every entity that has these properties generally falls into the community of moral subjects,” Gunkel said. “The problem, over time, is that these properties have changed. They have not been consistent.”

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Nov 30, 2015

Is Media Attention Hindering The Development Of Artificial Intelligence?

Posted by in categories: ethics, robotics/AI

Image Credit: LinkedIn

Image Credit: LinkedIn

As the line between tabloid media and mainstream media becomes more diffuse, news items such as Ebola, pit bulls, Deflategate, and Donald Trump can frequently generate a cocktail of public panic, scrutiny, and scorn before the news cycle moves on to the next sensational headline. According to Robotics Expert and self-proclaimed “Robot Psychiatrist” Dr. Joanne Pransky, the same phenomenon has happened in robotics, which can shape public perception and, by extension, the future development of robots and AI.

“The challenge, since robotics is just starting to come into the mainstream, is that most of the country is ignorant. So, if you believe what you read, then I think people have a very negative and inaccurate picture (of robotics),” Pransky said. “I spend a lot of time bashing negative headlines, such as ‘ROBOT KILLS HUMAN,’ when actually the human killed himself by not following proper safety standards. A lot of things are publicized about robotics, but there’s nothing about the robot in the article. It leads people on the wrong path.”

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