Exponential advancements in automation and robotics are happening now, and whilst mostly useful to mankind, they have also spelt disaster in instances where control has been lost, resulting in accidents, injuries and more.
As humans, we will require to develop ways to manage AI when robots take on crucial roles (such as driving cars or machinery or executing highly complex medical procedures for example) that will allow them to make their own, potentially life-altering decisions.
Given the increasing use of robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in decision-making, new research commissioned by think tank – Thinque, has revealed that 79 per cent of Australians believe that morals should be programmed into robots.
When probed further to understand who respondents believed should be responsible for programming morals into robots, 59 per cent said the original creator/software programmer, 20 per cent said the government, 12 per cent said the manufacturer and nine per cent said the company that owns them.
Global futurist and innovation strategist, Anders Sörman-Nilsson says, “As AI and its capabilities become more sophisticated, concerns around how we will manage these developments continue to grow. As such, the need for humans to build an ethical code into robots is necessary if they are to take on more key roles in our lives.
“This code must be instilled into robots and AI taking on important roles, such as machine engineers, or military personnel, to prevent adverse situations. If this is not executed well, we as humans will be opening ourselves up to inevitably dangerous consequences.
“With robots being allowed to exist in society without a moral compass, the capacity for them to hurt or fatally harm humans through not being able to make ethically sound decisions is imminent. As such, the U.S government recently announced its plans to spend millions on developing machines that understand moral consequence.
“The stakes are high for these kinds of robots and their ability to know right from wrong and make decisions accordingly is absolutely crucial, highlighting the very reason AI and its capabilities must be monitored carefully.
“In order to be able to effectively programme ethics into AI, humans will have to have a collective set of ethical rules universally agreed upon (a far cry from the current state of the human world).
“And another dilemma that improvements in AI raises is that once robots advance enough to mimic human intelligence, awareness and emotions, we will need to consider if they should then also be granted human-equivalent rights, freedoms and protections,” Anders adds.