Law and Ethics In A Developing Age Of Artificial Intelligence And Robotics

Humans leveraged on automation to increase productivity and intensify the value of humanity causing the efficient and immediate progress. However, future developments, like the introduction of artificial intelligence and robotics, accelerates the process several times over. Such evolution raised concerns from different sectors of the society, even those who had been made known for the innovations that they introduced to the world. As such, Elon Musk, the man behind SpaceX and is well-known for his futuristic mindset, called AI “a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.” He is even reported to have started his campaign to stop this potential AI apocalypse.

Many may have doubts seeing robots displacing human labor. As of this writing, however, there are companies that have been working to do just that. For instance, a Taiwanese company called Foxconn, the largest contract manufacturer in the world, has about 10,000 robots called Foxbots installed and had them doing the job which human employees are supposed to do since 2011. It was also relayed that the company is planning to replace 1,000,000 of its workers with robots. The same thing is not impossible to happen to this Florida-based company like AccuPlace. This video shows how machines have already replaced human labor.

With the introduction of robotic machines with AI capabilities, the traditional way of life is totally modified. This innovation with highly automated and autonomous behaviors has raised vital normative questions of law, regulation, as well as ethics of such machinery in its interactions with humans and the dominant world. Today you see automated cars, robot machines (such as industrial machines), healthcare robots, and other similar innovations, including the human cloud which allows freelancers to work without being restricted by time and physical boundaries, to replace what we use to call the second and third industrial revolutions.

Mixing these changes with ever changing economic and demographic pressures add to the global flow of trade, making the effect of robotics even more far reaching.Wherever there is work to be done– in the home, office, hospitals, supermarkets, and so on.

These innovations present a lot of benefits to mankind, but they may also bring with them negative impacts. For one, can they be made liable for accidents, product outputs (when it comes to design issues)? How about insurance? To whom will they be liable to if ever they will be?

Russian born American author and biochemist Dr. Isaac Asimov defined The Three Laws Of Robotics in his science fiction short story in 1942 called Run Around:

What if one of these innovations break one of this law, either by accident or after another human requested or committed the accident with the assistance of the machine? Who will be liable for the action? Is there a law that will determine who is responsible for what a robot has done?

As such, the creation of a new law that will address the concerns of this robotics and AIs need to be established. It has to include rules, codes, and standards that will answer both legal and ethical questions relating to the conduct of the Robotics and AIs in question.

What are your thoughts on this?