Are Robots Soon To Acquire An Ethical Infusion?

Robots are going to play a big part in people’s lives. The image of robots, as presented in classic science-fiction films, may be a massive fantasy dramatization but the integration of task-performing robots into people’s lives won’t be a pure fantasy for much longer. Researchers and developers realize robots can be utilized as mechanical helpers capable of making life easier. Robots may be programmed to perform certain tasks, but developers and designers cannot guarantee robots can perform their duties perfectly and without error.

Researchers want to install “ethical black boxes” in robots. This way, the robots can report facts associated with their decision making when an accident occurs. Doing so comes with more than a mere explanation about what went wrong. The information can assist with reprogramming a robot to prevent mistakes from happening again. Error reports could be uploaded to the manufacturer. The information might be used to improve future models of robots.

Robots cannot think for themselves nor can they make moral decisions. Robots are machines. They can only do what they are programmed to do. Their abilities are limited to their physical capabilities and programming-based artificial intelligence.

This does not mean, however, steps must be done to reduce the potential failures robots may cause. Again, robots cannot act in a perfect way. The main trait they may share with humans is imperfection. Reducing imperfections in robots also could reduce their potential to cause harm due to malfunctions and other issues.

Instilling actual moral ethics may be impossible. Improving performance likely is not.

Robotic Advancements Could Eventually Replace Unskilled Workers

It takes a practiced hand to create the complicated coffee beverages served at coffeehouses nationwide. CrunchBase says that the baristas train long and hard to create the perfect latté, and so on. On that note, baristas be warned, Cornell University has created a robot who can perform their job with precision.

In a sense it is just amazing how far technology and robotics have come in the last decade yet it is also concerning in regards to job redundancy. If these machines catch on in retail chains the end result will be thousands of lost jobs and a tremendous spike in unemployment.

Robotic advancements could eventually create competition for low paying jobs in the United States leaving millions of unskilled people without a source of income. Perhaps, for now, we should just celebrate a job well done on the creation of the Robobarista.