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Surprising Science

Robot Anarchy

There is a legal vacuum when it comes to robot interaction with humans so ethicist and scientists weigh in as robotics technology speeds up.

“We’re still far from the sci-fi dream of having robots whirring about and catering to our every need. But little by little, we’ll be sharing more of our space with robots in the next decade, as prices drop and new technology creates specialized machines that clean up spilled milk or even provide comfort for an elderly parent. Now scientists and legal scholars are exploring the likely effects. What happens if a robot crushes your foot, chases your cat off a ledge or smacks your baby? While experts don’t expect a band of Terminators to attack or a ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ computer that takes control, even simpler, benign robots will have legal, social and ethical consequences.”


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