As part of the Center for Information Technology Policy (CIPT) Luncheon speaker series, Peter Asaro gives a talk on developing policy for robots.
Robotics stands on the cusp of an explosion of applications and wide-spread adoption. Already the development and popular use of small UAV drones is gaining momentum, self-driving cars could be market-ready in a few short years, and the next generation of fully-autonomous military drones are in development. Yet the regulatory policies necessary to ensure the social and economic benefits of these technologies are not yet in place. The FAA has struggled to devise operational regulations for small UAV drones, and has not yet addressed the privacy concerns they raise. Google has influenced state legislatures to pass laws permitting self-driving cars, yet the liability issues and insurance regulations are open questions, as are the safety requirements for these cars to interact with human drivers. And while the United Nations has begun discussions over the possible need to regulate fully autonomous weapons, the development of such systems continues at rapid pace. I will present my work on some of these issues, as well as ask whether a more comprehensive regulatory framework might be able to address the questions of ensuring public safety and privacy in the coming revolution in robotics.