Up to now, any robots brushing with the law were always running strictly according to their code. Fatal accidents and serious injuries usually only happened through human misadventure or improper use of safety systems and barriers. We’ve yet to truly test how our laws will cope with the arrival of more sophisticated automation technology — but that day isn’t very far away.

AI already infiltrates our lives on so many levels in a multitude of practical, unseen ways. While the machine revolution is fascinating — and will cause harm to humans here and there — embodied artificial intelligence systems perhaps pose the most significant challenges for lawmakers.

Robots that run according to unchanging code are one thing and have caused many deaths and accidents over the years — not just in the factory but the operating theatre too. Machines that learn as they go are a different prospect entirely — and coming up with laws for dealing with that is likely to be a gradual affair.

Emergent robot behavior and the blame game

Emergent behavior is going to make robots infinitely more effective and useful than they’ve ever been before. The potential danger with emergent behavior is that it’s unpredictable. In the past, robots got programmed for set tasks – and that was that. Staying behind the safety barrier and following established protocols kept operators safe.

#artificial-intelligence #robots #robotics #legal #blame-the-user #blame-the-maker #blame-the-robot

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics: Who’s At Fault When Robots Kill?
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