According to Asimov’s laws of robotics, machines should be programmed never to hurt their humans. However, a Californian scientist proved that robots will hurt you if given the chance. That is if they are programmed to do so from the start.
Ever since Isaac Asimov wrote Runaround, philosophers have been pondering about the ethics of robotics. Are they the killing machines that science fiction novels and movies are depicting them to be?
The biochemist stated in his short story that robots must follow three primary rules.
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second
Alexander Reben, an artist, and roboticist from California’s Stochastic Laboratories just proved that robots will hurt you if given the chance. That is if they are programmed for such a function from the first place.
Reben built a rather simplistic robot, programming it to stab everybody that touched it. The anti-robotic ethics machinery is made out of a black box and a long metal arm.
Whenever an individual places his or her hand under a special detector, the robotic arm automatically stabs the finger of that person. It’s not equipped with a knife, just a small needle, similar to that used in insulin pens, but still, it inflicts harm on humans, it draws blood.
When asked about the intentions behind this machinery the creator stated that he wanted to bring humanity face to face with its biggest fear.
Even Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, two of the brightest minds of the century, declared that they fear a possible robot take-over.
Machinery does not possess the capability of feeling empathy, so if a bug, or a faulty update ever scrambles their original programming, the future robot generation could be able to wipe out humanity.
That is why Reben invented the stabbing robot. To make people realize that everything is in the programming. Killer robots can be invented today, not turned tomorrow.
What do you think? Now that you know that robots will hurt you if given the chance because they can be programmed to do so, are you anxious for the future of robotics? Leave us your opinion in the section below.
Image source: YouTube