Mechanical Ethics

               This week’s class lectures were really interesting and though provoking due to the discussion of robotics and there ethical programing. Robotics is a great theoretical tool that people have been predicting to facilitate our everyday life’s. It does bring up great ethical dilemmas on who programs the robots to make possibly life changing decisions that affect people’s life’s. In certain situations, the problem also arises has to how should be held responsible for the actions of the robot, the owner or the manufacturer. The last great point was if the robot should violate any of its core programing to save the life of its owner. All of these ethical dilemmas do arise from these technologies that people have been wanting for years and we should be ready to define and facilitate the regulation that come along with these life changing technology.

                We touched on who gets to set the core fundamental rules that govern these robots, does the owner of the robot get to set these rules. The owner did pay for the robot and is know his property, should he be able to program the robot to protect his life and interest over everything else. The move iRobot was mentioned and the notion of the laws of robotics should come standard on the robots when they come off the assembly line. The manufacture should take it upon themselves to have the laws of not injuring a human being, obey orders given by a human being unless it conflicts with the first law, and the robot must protect itself unless it conflicts with the first or second law. I found it fascinating that a science fiction writer coined these laws and know that this technology is almost at our grasp we need to set up regulations to protect ourselves from this new technology.

                Once the robot has left the lot should the owner be held responsible for its actions or should the manufacture take the blame. This ethical dilemma is interesting although in my mind its actually really cut and dry. The manufacture should not be held responsible for the actions of the robot due to the fact that the robot is a machine that doesn’t have a motive or need to accomplish any actions. The owner of the robot should be held responsible because the owner is the one who controls the robot and its actions. If a man robs a bank, we don’t hold the car company responsible because they use the car has a getaway or the gun company because they used one in the robbery. The robot is just a tool that walks, talks and the rules that accompany it should be similar if not the same.

                We finally discussed the notion if the robot should be able to violate any of its core rules to save the life of its owner. I believe that human life is precious and taking someone’s life should not be left to the discretion of a machine. Everyone is ultimately responsible for their wellbeing and no one can detach themselves from social ethical wrong doing by a purchase.



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