« The book of Essjay | Main | Customer value and the network effect »

Robot rights update

March 07, 2007

The Government of South Korea, reports the BBC, has launched a project to develop a Robot Ethics Charter "to prevent humans abusing robots, and vice versa." The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy declared: "The government plans to set ethical guidelines concerning the roles and functions of robots as robots are expected to develop strong intelligence in the near future." A member of the ministry's "robot team" gave a sense of the dilemmas that lie in store as robotic beings get smarter and more flexible: "Imagine if some people treat androids as if the machines were their wives." (Do I have to?) "Others may get addicted to interacting with them just as many internet users get hooked to the cyberworld."

The European Robotics Research Network is also in the process of developing ethical guidelines for robot use. A draft of the guidelines states, "In the 21st Century humanity will coexist with the first alien intelligence we have ever come into contact with - robots. It will be an event rich in ethical, social and economic problems." That strikes me as an awfully human-centric view. What we see as problems our robot friends will recognize as opportunities.

Comments

"What we see as problems our robot friends will recognize as opportunities."

Offhand, I can foresee the inevitable cantina segregation issues, not to mention rampant kleptomania. Plus there's the constant drone of "warning! warning!" - which means we'll need tougher noise pollution restrictions.

Posted by: Ethan [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 7, 2007 11:11 AM

A follow up on the economics of robot rights and the breakeven between getting a human to do the same job e.g. why aren't robots ragpicking out of landfills? Answer - humans are cheaper and can't pay for 'rights'. At some level, machines are already the 'unmarked class' where they start with a big bundle. After all, they were bought, built, and conceived knowingly, protected under copyright...

I can only think of C. Heston - "Get your Hands off me, you dirty robot!"

Posted by: Mark Ontkush [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 7, 2007 12:07 PM

"Danger, Will Robinson!"

Posted by: David Hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 8, 2007 12:22 AM

Screw that. If my robot gets out of line, I'll rip his parts out.

Posted by: likwidshoe [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2007 05:46 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?


carrshot5.jpg Subscribe to Rough Type

Now in paperback:
shallowspbk2.jpg Pulitzer Prize Finalist

"Riveting" -San Francisco Chronicle

"Rewarding" -Financial Times

"Revelatory" -Booklist

Order from Amazon

Visit The Shallows site

The Cloud, demystified: bigswitchcover2thumb.jpg "Future Shock for the web-apps era" -Fast Company

"Ominously prescient" -Kirkus Reviews

"Riveting stuff" -New York Post

Order from Amazon

Visit Big Switch site

Greatest hits

The amorality of Web 2.0

Twitter dot dash

The engine of serendipity

The editor and the crowd

Avatars consume as much electricity as Brazilians

The great unread

The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock's avatar

Flight of the wingless coffin fly

Sharecropping the long tail

The social graft

Steve's devices

MySpace's vacancy

The dingo stole my avatar

Excuse me while I blog

Other writing

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

The ignorance of crowds

The recorded life

The end of corporate computing

IT doesn't matter

The parasitic blogger

The sixth force

Hypermediation

More

The limits of computers: Order from Amazon

Visit book site

Rough Type is:

Written and published by
Nicholas Carr

Designed by

JavaScript must be enabled to display this email address.

What?