AI in the News

By Glick, Jonathan | AI Magazine, Spring 2007 | Go to article overview

AI in the News


Glick, Jonathan, AI Magazine


"Always Interesting"

http://www.aaai.org/aitopics/html/current.html

A Robot in Every Home. Bill Gates. Scientific American. January 2007 (www.sciam. com). "[T]He emergence of the robotics industry ... is developing in much the same way that the computer business did 30 years ago. Think of the manufacturing robots currently used on automobile assembly lines as the equivalent of yesterday's mainframes. ... [S]ome of the world's best minds are trying to solve the toughest problems of robotics, such as visual recognition, navigation and machine learning. And they are succeeding. ... I can envision a future in which robotic devices will become a nearly ubiquitous part of our day-to-day lives. I believe that technologies such as distributed computing, voice and visual recognition, and wireless broadband connectivity will open the door to a new generation of autonomous devices that enable computers to perform tasks in the physical world on our behalf. We may be on the verge of a new era, when the PC will get up off the desktop and allow us to see, hear, touch and manipulate objects in places where we are not physically present."

UK Report Says Robots Will Have Rights. Salamander Davoudi. Financial Times. December 19, 2006 (www.ft.com). "Far from being extracts from the extreme end of science fiction, the idea that we may one day give sentient machines the kind of rights traditionally reserved for humans is raised in a British governmentcommissioned report which claims to be an extensive look into the future. Visions of the status of robots around 2056 have emerged from one of 270 forward-looking papers sponsored by Sir David King, the UK government's chief scientist. The paper covering robots' rights was written by a UK partnership of Outsights, the management consultancy, and Ipsos Mori, the opinion research organisation. ... The idea will not surprise science fiction aficionados. It was widely explored by Dr Isaac Asimov, one of the foremost science fiction writers of the 20th century. He wrote of a society where robots were fully integrated and essential in day-to-day life. In his system, the 'three laws of robotics' governed machine life. ... Robots and machines are now classed as inanimate objects without rights or duties but if artificial intelligence becomes ubiquitous, the report argues, there may be calls for humans' rights to be extended to them."

Ethics Dilemma in Killer Bots. Philip Argy (National President of the Australian Computer Society). Australian IT. January 16, 2007 (australianit.news.com.au). "When science fiction writer Isaac Asimov developed his Three Laws of Robotics back in 1940, the first law was: 'A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.' Asimov later amended the laws to put the needs of humanity as a whole above those of a single individual, but his intention was unchanged: that robots should be designed to protect human life and should be incapable of endangering it. So reports out of Korea of newly developed guard robots capable of firing autonomously on human targets are raising concerns about their potential uses. ... Ethicists have always questioned the use of technology in weapons development, but the new robots are causing additional disquiet because of their self-directing capabilities. ... It is the responsibility of all technology professionals to ensure that those in our organisation and within our influence are both responsible and ethical in the way they develop and apply technology. …

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