When a chess-playing robot broke a seven-year-old’s finger at the Moscow chess open recently, the story tapped into deep seated cultural ideas and fears about robots.
Robots, like other technologies, pose a range of ethical and human rights issues.
Safety – as highlighted by the chess incident – is paramount. But issues like privacy, discrimination, and transparency are also important. There is also the broader effect on society and human relationships when robots take over tasks.
Professor Robert Sparrow is an expert in philosophy and applied ethics at Monash University, including the ethics of new technologies like robots. We chat to Robert about robot ethics, and ask him whether Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics hold any relevance today.
Petra Stock has a degree in environmental engineering and a Masters in Journalism from University of Melbourne. She has previously worked as a climate and energy analyst.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.