Tuesday, July 12, 2016

First Law Of Robotics

On July 8, 2016, a terrible shooting massacre of police and civilians took place in Dallas, Texas.  My condolences go to all the victims of this tragedy.  There is little I can add that others, including United States President Obama, have not already expressed more eloquently.

One surprising aspect of these awful events was the use of a robot to kill the suspected shooter.

In Runaround, his short story published in 1942, Isaac Asimov described "The Three Laws of Robotics".  They are
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 the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3.  A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
Asimov foresaw some of the ethical implications of employing robots to kill.  Humanity will increasingly live all of them.