The question of how robots would or should handle complicated ethical questions has been asked ever since the first basic robots were invented. We have built computers and robots to be impartial tools for accomplishing all sorts of tasks, but very soon, we’ll have to answer the question of robot ethics for real, especially when it comes to self-driving cars, which are just around the corner.
So the question is this:
A front tire blows, and your autonomous SUV swerves. But rather than veering left, into the opposing lane of traffic, the robotic vehicle steers right. Brakes engage, the system tries to correct itself, but there’s too much momentum. Like a cornball stunt in a bad action movie, you are over the cliff, in free fall. Your robot, the one you paid good money for, has chosen to kill you.
Should it? A human driver would invariably save its own life first, but when we become dependent on having robotic cars drive us around, should we build in that same kind of self-preservation instinct? Meaning the car would kill two people to save you? Or should we keep the robot brain impartial, relying on data to make its decision, even if it means you’re expendable?
Time to settle down with a nice cup of tea in my favorite White Base mug. At 50 pages or so, it’s a fairly lengthy but entertaining read if you’re into that sort of thing.
Clearing your sidewalk or driveway of snow is a shitty job, and if you’ve got $7900 to spare, you can task the winter shittiness out to a a six wheeled robot. Powered by six 24-volt 127RPM electric motors, its 52-inch wide blade can clear a sidewalk in one pass, and your driveway in no time, all from the comfort of inside your toasty-warm home.
Scientists have created a network which various smart devices and artificial intelligences will use autonomously to share information and learn from each other – increasing their capabilities. Should we just surrender now?
The US already has a pretty dominant position in robotic aerial warfare, and we’re working on our own fleet of ground and naval drones, and we’re not the only ones. Russia has been very busy the past few years putting together its own rolling robot legion of death. At this point, it might be hard not to imagine that any full scale water breaking out in the next 10 to 15 years could be fought almost totally through robots.