The BBC has a fun little story about South Korea’s soon to be released ethical guidelines for dealing with robots, anticipating truly intelligent robots in the not too distant future. The story contains some discussion of whether these guidelines should resemble Asimov’s famous three laws of robotics:
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
But what I found strangest about the story is the following:
The new charter is an attempt to set ground rules for this future.
“Imagine if some people treat androids as if the machines were their wives,” Park Hye-Young of the ministry’s robot team told the AFP news agency.
I’m really not sure how to read this. I guess it could be a point about the obvious possibility of human-robot sex, but I think it more likely that it is meant to say that you can’t just go around treating a robot as badly as you might treat your wife!