Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Ethical Robots

PostedOctober 23, 2011

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Anchor Lede: In the midst of the debate over use of unmanned drones, a computer scientist says robots might actually be programmed with ethics…to save lives.

Randy Atkins: We can engineer robots to be stronger than us, go places we can’t, sense and process information more quickly. And Ron Arkin, of Georgia Tech, says...

Ron Arkin: …robots can ultimately be more humane than human beings in military situations.

Randy Atkins: He says they can be programmed to strictly follow the laws of war and rules of engagement…and they won’t act out of fear or frustration.

Ron Arkin: Robots – or unmanned systems for that matter – have no inherent right of self-defense. They don’t have to shoot first and ask questions later.

Randy Atkins: And Arkin says they can mimic guilt…adjusting future actions based upon battle damage assessment data. But he admits these ideas are controversial and, so far, have only been tested in lab simulations. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103 point 5 F-M and WTOP-dot-com.