Given a choice between crashing into a motorcyclist wearing a helmet vs. a motorcyclist who isn’t wearing one, which one should an autonomous car be programmed to crash into? What about the choice between crashing into an SUV vs. a compact car?
These are some of the dilemma situations Professor Patrick Lin brought forth in his WIRED article, The Robot Car of Tomorrow May Just be Programmed to Hit You.
JIBO, a 2013 Boston startup, launched an IndieGoGo campaign last week and is off to a rousing start, lots of favorable press, and, as of the time of this writing, has raised more than $700,000 over their $100,000 goal.
Last week I dropped by Aldebaran’s studio to get a glimpse of Pepper in action, and was pretty excited about this robot. But then I talked with Bruno Maisonnier, the CEO of Aldebaran. And then I got really excited: what Pepper represents is another iteration in the realization of the roboticists’ dream.
It is a fantastic time for technology. We live in a more connected world, and compared to even a few decades ago, we have vastly improved access to information and content, and have dramatically expanded our ability to connect with one another in interesting new ways to socialize despite time and distance.
Human-robot interaction is a fascinating field of research in robotics. It also happens to be the field that is closely related to many of the ethical concerns raised with regards to interactive robots. Should human-robot interaction (HRI) practitioners keep in mind things such as human dignity, psychological harm, and privacy? What about how robot design relates to racism and sexism?
We are moving closer to having driverless cars on roads everywhere, and naturally, people are starting to wonder what kinds of ethical challenges driverless cars will pose. One of those challenges is choosing how a driverless car should react when faced with an unavoidable crash scenario. Indeed, that topic has been featured in many of the major media outlets of late. Surprisingly little debate, however, has addressed who should decide how a driverless car should react in those scenarios. This who question is of critical importance if we are to design cars that are trustworthy and ethical.
In a crowded back room at AUTOMATICA 2014 in Munich, the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) sponsored a panel of prominent robot users explaining their needs to a panel of executives representing all the prominent robot manufacturers.