Logo Are You A Robot

2020-11-19

Will Robots be our new Best Friends?

Rob Wortham

__Have you been thinking about how robots will be used in the future? Dr Rob Wortham, Assistant Professor at University of Bath, joins us to discuss whether we are becoming too reliant on robots and what robots should exactly be used for. __

Following from his Are You A Robot? interview, Dr Rob Wortham states that he’d prefer the usage of robots and AI technologies to be more focused on what humans cannot do. For example, robot use in nuclear sites, space, and places humans cannot access might have less ethical issues than AI uses in our day to day lives, such as in children’s toys. Rob and Demetrios use the example of teddy bears now using AI systems to provide entertainment in children. Rob therefore argues that this is problematic and will lead to having ethical dilemmas as it is its only use.

This kind of AI/robot use is also an example of anthropomorphism, putting human feelings on objects. AI technology in teddy bears might lead to it feeling more ‘real’, therefore, the child feeling empathy for the object. This doesn’t just stop at children; us adults do the same with gendering cars. How would we act with lifelike, human-like robots? Would you feel empathy if someone acted violently towards a human-like robot?

“You should never have to feel you need to run back into a burning building to save a robot.”

It is clear, therefore, that Rob would rather keep robots as tools. He also calls for faster regulation in this space, as well as the swift implementation of international standards.

What do you think robots should be used for? Is there any limitation? Let us know in our Slack community!

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