Legal and artificial intelligence expert Frank Pasqual has warned that robots now require a radical new set of rules since they now play an ever-expanding role in our daily lives.
According to Pasquale, author of “The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms Behind Money and Information”, four new legally-inspired rules should be applied to robots and AI in our daily lives.
“The first is that robots should complement rather than substitute for professionals” Pasquale told reporters on the sidelines of a robotics conference at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
“Rather than having a robot doctor, you should hope that you have a doctor who really understands how AI works and gets really good advice from AI, but ultimately it’s a doctor’s decision to decide what to do and what not to do.”
“The second is that we need to stop robotic arms races. There’s a lot of people right now who are investing in war robots, military robots, policing robots.”
Pasquale, a law lecturer at the University of Maryland, says it’s important that any investment in military robotics or AI should provide some advantage that’s “not going to be just immediately cancelled out by your enemies.”
“It’s just depressing, it’s money down a hole, you build a robot that can tell if my robot can tell if your robot can tell if my robot is about to attack. It just never ends.”
The third, and most controversial, rule is not to make humanoid robots or AI, says Pasquale, citing the example of a Google assistant called Duplex that would call people to confirm hotel reservations without telling them they were talking to a computer.
“There was an immediate backlash to that because people thought that it was Google trying to pass its machines off as a human and I think that counterfeiting principle is the most important one, that we should not counterfeit humanity.”
Robots can look humanoid “only if it’s totally necessary to the task,” said Pasquale, such as “care robots or sex robots.”
The fourth and final law according to Pasquale is that any robot or AI should be “attributable to or owned by a person or a corporation made of persons because… we know how to punish people but we don’t know how to punish machines.”
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