Wednesday 1 November 2017

Can We Teach Robots Ethics?

driverless car

Artificial Intelligence – Outperforming Humans

Artificial intelligence is outperforming human in various fields from driverless car to `carebots’ machine which are entering the dominion of right and wrong. Would an autonomous vehicle select the lives of its passenger over pedestrians? The challenges of artificial intelligence are not only technical but moral and tend to raise queries on what it could mean to be human. As we progress ahead with time with strong network of Internet of Things where several things will have the capabilities of supporting us in our everyday undertakings, there would be instances where these very things would begin to select for us. We are not used to the notion of machines indulging in ethical decision, however the day they will do this by themselves, is not very long. David Edmonds, of BBC asks how they would be taught to do the right thing. Here the example of driverless car is utilised which are projects to be integrated on the highways towards the next years with the potential of resolving trolley problem. Two kids tend to run across the street and there is no time to stop and brake it to a halt. The car is faced with the option of swerving left which could cause it to collide into the oncoming traffic from the opposite end.

Robots …. Could Cause Destruction

What options would the car tend to make and considering the element the car would opt for gives us thought for speculation on what type of ethics should be programmed in the car? How should the value of the life of the driver be compared to the passenger in the other cars? Or would the buyer make a choice on a car which is prepared to sacrifice its driver to spare the lives of the pedestrians? With every choice is the consequence that tends to raise the query on where does the error lie, could it be on the technology, manufacturer, firm or the driver in the car. Another example is the utilisation of autonomous weapons wherein this brings up the pros and cons on the topic. The obvious con with regards to cons is that robots should not be permitted, since they could cause destruction. We are not used to the notion of machine making ethical decision though it is said that when they tend to do the same by themselves is not far off. In the present scenario, this seems to be an urgent query.

Robots – Care for Elderly/Disabled

Self-driving cars have covered up millions of miles on road by indulging in autonomous decision which could affect the safety of others using the road. Serving robots for the purpose of providing care for the elderly as well as disabled have been developed by roboticist in Japan, Europe and the United States. A robot caretaker launched in 2015 dubbed as `Robear’ tends to be adequately strong to lift frail patients from their beds and if they can do that they could also be capable of crushing them. The US Army since 2000 had deployed thousands of robots with machine guns each of which had the potential of locating targets and focusing on them without the support of human contribution. Autonomous weapons, like driverless cars, are not science fiction and are weapons which tend to operate without the support of humans.

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