Posts Tagged ‘ethics’
This month’s National Geographic features a story about robots that can think, act, and relate to humans and asks if we are ready. A related article on bionics follows innovations in neural prostheses, or mechanical systems that tie into the nervous system and function like living organisms or parts of living organisms, giving sight to the blind, sound to the deaf, and movement to the amputee or quadriplegic. Both articles are logical extensions of our discussion of healthcare robots, and I found them extremely interesting.
Androids represent a new generation of robots designed as autonomous agents capable of thinking, learning and taking on tasks previously done by humans in a human environment, rather than as programmed industrial machines that do only one thing. They may soon be able to move about the home, cook for us, fold laundry, babysit children, tend to elderly, and become companions.
But that raises lots of questions. How much human function do we want to outsource to robots? Will they behave ethically and have human-like feelings? What will they look like; how will we interact with them; will we accept them; and can we afford them?