Asimov’s Laws of Robotics Require an Update

Published by , March 20, 2017 10:25 am

(RealClearScience)  Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics are still mentioned as a template for guiding our development of robots. The South Korean government even proposed a Robot Ethics Charter in 2007 reflecting the laws. But given how much robotics has changed and will continue to grow in the future, we need to ask how these rules could be updated for a 21st century version of artificial intelligence.
The laws’ ambiguity has led authors, including Asimov, to explore how they could be misinterpreted or incorrectly applied. One issue is that they don’t actually define what a robot is. As research pushes the boundaries of technology, there are emerging branches of robotics looking at more molecular devices. There’s also the question of what counts as harming a human being. The other big issue with the laws is that we would need a significant advancement in AI for robots to actually be able to follow them. And all these questions don’t even consider the potential for hurt should humans start to fall in love with robots.

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