Dec 21, 2008

For When the Metal Ones Decide to Come for You

... and they will.

Robotics professor Noel Sharkey is sounding the alarm about the pressing need for ethics guidelines for robots.

Outside of military applications, Sharkey worries how robots - and the people who control them - will be held accountable when the machines work with "the vulnerable," namely children and the elderly.

He notes that there are already robotic machines in wide use, such as the Japanese meal assistance robot 'My Spoon'.

Robots could also soon be entrusted by parents to guard and monitor their children, replacing a flesh-and-blood carer and posing potential problems in long-term exposure to the machines, Sharket said.

. . .

Experiments conducted on monkeys suggest there is reason for concern, said Sharkey, with young monkeys left in the care of robots becoming "unable to deal with other monkeys and to breed".

I know I was a little creeped out when I saw this:

Sharkey says he is unconcerned about any kind of AI nightmare scenario, like Asimov's "I Robot." But, I don't know...

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