AI News, But human-robot relationships aren't authentic!

But human-robot relationships aren't authentic!

Fortunately, there's growing international interest in many disciplines for in-depth study into the ethics of placing robots in people's lives.

The Open Roboethics initiative polls relevant stakeholders (like you and me) about important ethical questions to find out what people who aren't necessarily 'experts' think: Should robots make life or death decisions?

Maybe, as was suggested at one robot ethics workshop, we could create 'warning labels' similar to nutrition labels or movie ratings, which explain the risks of interacting with particular technologies, what the technology is capable of, or even recommended 'dosage', as a way of raising awareness of possible addictive or negative consequences.

For managing privacy, safety, and security, we can see what other surveillance technologies and internet of things devices have done wrong—such as not encrypting network traffic and failing to inform users of data breaches in a timely manner.

Who knows: we may yet find that children do, in fact, realize that robots are “just pretending” (for now, anyway), but that kids are perfectly happy to suspend disbelief while they play with those robots.

Maybe the next generation of kids, growing up with different technology, and different relationships with technology, will think this whole discussion is silly because of course robots take whatever role they take and do whatever it is they do.

And maybe—through my work, and through opening up conversations about these issues —our future robot companions will make paper airplanes with us, attend our picnics, and bring us ice cream when we're sad.

How robots, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will affect employment and public policy

While emerging technologies can improve the speed, quality, and cost of available goods and services, they may also displace large numbers of workers.  This possibility challenges the traditional benefits model of tying health care and retirement savings to jobs.  In an economy that employs dramatically fewer workers, we need to think about how to deliver benefits to displaced workers.  The impacts of automation technologies are already being felt throughout the economy.

The worldwide number of industrial robots has increased rapidly over the past few years.  The falling prices of robots, which can operate all day without interruption, make them cost-competitive with human workers.  In the service sector, computer algorithms can execute stock trades in a fraction of a second, much faster than any human.  As these technologies become cheaper, more capable, and more widespread, they will find even more applications in an economy.

If automation technologies like robots and artificial intelligence make jobs less secure in the future, there needs to be a way to deliver benefits outside of employment.  “Flexicurity,” or flexible security, is one idea for providing healthcare, education, and housing assistance whether or not someone is formally employed.  Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, providing a guaranteed basic income, and encouraging corporate profit-sharing are some ideas that need to be considered in the case of persistent unemployment.  Perhaps the most provocative question raised by the paper is how people will choose to spend their time outside of traditional jobs.  “Activity accounts” could finance lifelong education or volunteering for worthy causes.

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