Roboethics

Ed. Note: This post by Benjamin Vanlalvena is a part of the TLF Editorial Board Test 2016.          

                                         Source: xkthe_three_laws_of_roboticscd

Liability in law arises to persons who are considered rational and have control over their actions. Techonology is advancing at a rapid pace; machines have taken over a lot of jobs requiring manual labour. Some argue that this is beneficial as it means humans as a race would be able to focus on other activities/specialize. However, with the rate at which things are developing, one wonders what kind of activity would be left for humans. We already have a ‘robot lawyer’ hired by a law firm, a robot which helped people with their traffic tickets and has already successfully challenged 160,000 tickets, there are also robots writing stories for news agencies, one wrote a movie, another drew art. Robots have already defeated us in chess and go. Though they might not be completely ‘intelligent’, there’s no doubt that someday they could catch up to us.

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The Equations of Bots and the Law, Part I : Crimes and Torts

(Image Source: http://sites.psu.edu/periodicpostulations/2012/09/12/little-lost-robot/)

One of the most interesting news items to come through the interwebs recently was the ‘seizure’ of a certain ‘art experiment’ in Switzerland. The bot, sadly unimaginatively named Random Darknet Shopper, lived up to its name by buying items randomly from Darknet marketplaces (with Bitcoins, interestingly) and shipping them to a gallery in Switzerland. The bot came under the scanner of the police after it bought some ecstacy pills and a counterfeit passport.

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