Inquirer get’s it wrong about robots

SWORDS (Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection Systems) robots, that is…

Robots break Asimov’s first law

THE US Army is deploying armed robots in Iraq that are capable of breaking Asimov’s first law that they should not harm a human.

First of all “The Three Laws” are Unsafe to begin with. And I think that Asimov had bumped it up to five or six “Laws” in his later years.

Second, If you know anything about the type of “Robot” Asimov wrote about you know he was talking about Artificial Intelligence.

Awwwww ain’t it cute?

If it is remote controlled it’s not a “Robot” in the sense that Asimov was referring to. Asimov’s robots would be fully autonomous. And to the Inquirer’s credit they do admit that:

They are still connected by radio to a human operator who verifies that a suitable target is within sight and orders it to fire. Then the robot has the job of making sure lots of bullets are sent towards the target.

So they pretty much admit that they are just taking a cheap shot at the military, but unless you are familiar with Asimov’s work you wouldn’t know that. You would just get the impression that the Military has broken some “Law”.

Your average ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, for you gen X and Y post “cold War” folks) has an onboard AI that is more of a robot than the little remote controlled tank. So it seems that Asimov’s “Laws” have been ignored for quite some time.

Some thirty or forty years or so.