Friday, April 27, 2007

Scientists Concerned About Autonomous Robots

More concern over the cultural implications of autonomous robots in the
news today. The BBC
reports on
a public debate held at the London Science Museum. From the aritcle:
"Autonomous robots are able to make decisions without human
intervention. At a simple level, these can include robot vacuum cleaners
that decide for themselves when to move from room to room"
Professor Alan
Winfield suggests the the worries come when you give
autonomous robots guns: "If an autonomous robot kills someone, whose
fault is it? Right now, that's not an issue because the responsibility
lies with the designer or operators of that robot; but as robots become
more autonomous that line [of] responsibility becomes blurred."
debate also covered subjects such as the UK robot rights study that
predicted housing and healthcare rights for sentient robots. The study
was "poorly informed, poorly supported by science and it is
according to Professor Owen
Holland. He does acknowledge
a need for informed debate about the rights issue, however.


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