Berkeley roboticist builds robot designed to cause intentional injury and pain to humans
Amid high-activity in the field of Artificial Intelligence and robotics, Alexander Reben, a Berkeley roboticist and artist has done what Sir Isaac Asimov were strictly against off – crossing ethical limits while creating AI machines. This man has developed a sadistic robot to deliberately cause pain to humans. The robot is capable of inflicting severe injuries and cause hellish pain. Causing pain is the sole purpose of this evil creation. Well, that’s not true. It was just a joke, but there is some truth in it.
Although, this robotic weapon is nothing more than a small needle attached to a long arm that is developed to inflict a very trivial amount of pain. Except that it has no purpose, or wait, it might have a bigger philosophy behind it.
According to the maker, the aim is to spark debate over the direction to which technology is heading towards. Definitely, robots would be integral part of human life, and they would share social space with humans, learning automatically from observation. Reben claims, his purpose behind this robot was to make people confront the issue of how to deal with threats from robots well before they actually happen.
I want people to start confronting the physicality of it. It will raise a bit more awareness outside the philosophical realm. There’s always going to be situations where the unforeseen is going to happen, and how to deal with that is going to be an important thing to think about. Says Reben.
Scientists are not fully aware of what advance AI would be like, so the probability of threats is there. The master of science-fiction Isaac Asimov had initiated this debate in his in his 1942 short story Runaround in which he had laid ethical rules for creating robots.
To quote a few lines of Professor Hawking from an old article posted on Washington Post,
The real risk with AI isn’t malice but competence. A super intelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble. You’re probably not an evil ant-hater who steps on ants out of malice, but if you’re in charge of a hydroelectric green energy project and there’s an anthill in the region to be flooded, too bad for the ants. Let’s not place humanity in the position of those ants.
So, Reben isn’t wrong in saying so. Humanity would realize it sooner or later. Further, Reben is committed to study relationships of people with future technologies.