Do We Need Asimov’s Laws?
In recent years, roboticists have made rapid advances in the technologies that are bringing closer the kind of advanced robots that Asimov envisaged. Increasingly, robots and humans are working together on factory floors, driving cars, flying aircraft and even helping around the home.
And that raises an interesting question: do we need a set of Asimov-like laws to govern the behaviour of robots as they become more advanced?
Well, I will say this: robots only are capable of doing what they’re programmed or commanded to do.
It’s not like these laws are actually followed by designers. Were that the case, there would be no such thing as Predator drones (which are technically a violation of all laws of robotics). We can destroy ourselves with machines, quite easily. We can make overly effective instruments of destruction and eliminate the need for our presence in the world through automation. However, we can also benefit from machines, especially in the worlds of policy making and implants, to make us more intelligent and accurate/effective processors of reality. I would keep the consequences of ones’ actions in mind when designing machines. However, especially in our current state, there’s no guarantee of that happening.
So, we’ve got a Russian roulette thing going on now, until we become more knowledgeable and aware of what works and how things work. We can kill or hurt ourselves severely with the development of technology, as much as we can help and heal ourselves.
Let the experiments begin? No choice, already begun.
Onward to the edge.
Think about it.
See on www.technologyreview.com