Friday, March 09, 2007

Robot Ethics Charter for South Korea

South Korea is taking its future with robots seriously. In anticipation of robots developing strong intelligence, the government is planning to set ethical guidelines concerning the roles and functions of robots which will ensure human control over robots, protecting data acquired by robots and preventing illegal use.

Author Isaac Asimov's Three Laws Of Robotics: 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, 2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law, and 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law, could be used by the South Koreans for their Robot Ethics Charter. The Three Laws of Robotics was first introduced by Isaac Asimov in his 1942 short story "Runaround".

In Runaround, Asimov tells the story of a mining robot on Mercury that went missing. The two humans on the planet retrieve the robot and try to analyse what happened. They find that its levels of obedience to two of the Laws of Robotics had reached an equilibrium, and it was running around in a circle maintaining this equilibrium value.

(Photo above from the ROBOTS: technology + pop culture pool on Flickr)

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