Information Technology and Ethics/Future Robotic Ethics

Autonomous System & its applicationEdit

Autonomous systems applications have made the huge impact onto the world with its towering achievements in its field. Creation of Drones has enriched the field of technology and in other fields such as agriculture, marine technology, scientific research etc. “Persons who authorize the use of, direct the use of or operate autonomous and semi-autonomous weapon systems must do so with appropriate care and in accordance with the law of war, applicable treaties, weapon system safety rides, and applicable rules of engagement (ROE)”[1] The persons who write ethics need to take a lot of things into consideration before finalizing it publicly so that no one make the wrong use of it. Autonomous bring the aggressive approach to the country’s economy and therefore development of such systems has been at the high speed. Autonomous system is designed and created by the persons which can also backfire is certain circumstances, for which certain laws need to be made so that the development does not cross the set limit. It is obvious that autonomous systems need to be stable, accurate and responsible so that it is used in good ways. The main purpose of having drones was to the erase the easy trace of the ground marks which was earlier the help to enemies.

Ethics and code of conductsEdit

Along with the invention of high tech autonomous machines, a lot change in the rules and regulations were needed to be frame. “Moreover, stability analysis for non-autonomous systems usually requires specific and quite different tools from the autonomous ones (systems with constant coefficients)”[2]. Among all, Drones have been highly developed and more researched areas of A.I. Researchers and high-tech people are finding ways to use Drones more and more in the day-to-day world. So far, Drones has been successful in the areas which they are being used and has enriched that area of study. Due to its recent success, it is more in demand and due to the development in new areas of drones: arises a lot of other protocols which needs to be followed to put them for the use. Huge percentage of drone are used in the military and for the defense purpose around the borders of the countries. Since, A.I is vast field it requires to undergo a lot of different rules and regulation through which it needs to be passed taking into considerations that requirements fit all the departments. The ethical implication is necessary to have the best use of autonomous technology and particularly for drones which is achieving great heights day by day. To do this, it needs to filter through aviation ministry rules, defense ministry and protocols and other commanders of the army.

AnthropomorphismEdit

 
HitchBot

“Anthropomorphism” The issue of Anthropomorphism comes in to play when robots become, act and feel more human than ever before and when humans begin to take on these new bots as pets and significant others, even family members. Although most are oblivious to the fact that just alone in the manufacturing and industrial workplace robots dominate our most tedious tasks. But when you assign a face, speech recognition and a few pet-like features the tables will turn, and emotions become a factor.  The attribute of human traits or emotions or intention to a non-human entity, is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology. A good example of this human characteristic can be observed and witnessed in the peculiar case of a robot named (HitchBot). In 2015 ‘Hitchbot’, a Hitch hiking robot, was set off as an experiment too hitch hike across the country. The poor robot traveled a considerable number of miles, but along the way was ultimately vandalized beyond repair. The story of this tragic incident made headlines, and there was an outpouring of sympathy and emotions for the little hitch hiking robot. There were many tweets nationwide in response to this atrocious act of violence that many considered cruel and inhumane, such as “Sorry lil Guy for the behavior of some humans whom are bad people” and others showing grief and sorrow in their tweets. Let us also consider the case of ‘Spot’, a new dog-like robot created by Boston Dynamic, a Google owned company.  There was a video online demonstrating how stable the robot dog was by kicking it hard over an over as it trotted along, showing its ability to maintain its composure. People were outraged and even contacted. P.E.T.A, the animal cruelty association, with the attempt to shame the company for its abuse towards a ‘dog like’ Robot!

Theory of Uncanny ValleyEdit

When it comes to the human attachment to things, it is a very real and driving force behind pretty much everything. We all want to feel like our item that we own , is ours and there is none out there like it. The same can be when it comes to the field of robotics and how they are designed. When we create a robot to appear to be more human, it is our desire to create something that can be our own and it to be “the only one out there”. The issue with this is the closer someone comes to designing a robot to be more human, then the more off-putting it comes to appear to a human. This is called the “Uncanny Valley”.

 
The graph on the human eeriness on humanoid robot

The “uncanny valley” is a dip in the emotional response that happens when we encounter an entity that is almost, but not quite, human. According to the theconversation.com, “It was first hypothesized in 1970 by Japanese robot designer Masahiro Mori who identified that as robots became more human-like, people would find them to be more acceptable and appealing than their mechanical counterparts, but this only held true to up a point (Lay, S. (2015, November 10)).” The article continues and explain that when robots are close to human appearance but not distinguishable, then there is a sense of unease and discomfort that is developed. However, the results of the test say that when robot design is push past this point then it starts to become a positive response when it deals in the emotional response. The name “Uncanny Valley”, is derived from this dip that develops (Lay, S. (2015, November 10)).

One of the reasons that this theory exists is that it has to do with our psyche and how we view our own lives. For example, if there are minor flaws and imperfections in appearance can give us a feeling of seeing dead matter impersonating humans. It would be like watching a zombie movie in real life. This can elicit fear or disgust with the robot since it’s been proposed that it reminds us of our own immortality.

How Automation of Labor Will Affect the Job MarketEdit

Job DisplacementEdit

Autonomous systems and machines are gradually causing a decline in the need for low skilled labor. There are many reasons for this, but the main factors are it will be cheaper for the companies with the money they save in not hiring workers, and the increased productivity and efficiency these systems offer. This low skilled labor is mainly jobs that are highly routine and repetitive. Economists Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo conclude in a study that “Predictably, the major categories experiencing substantial declines are routine manual occupations, blue-collar workers, operators and assembly workers, and machinists and transport workers”[3]. These are the jobs that are at the highest risk of being replaced with automated machines and robots not necessarily because they are easy, but they are highly uniform and repetitive. This makes it easy to program machines to perform the task because no decisions really must be made, it’s just repeating a task over and over.

Job CreationEdit

Overall, though the jobs lost to these machines will lead to other jobs being created though. So, it’s more of a job displacement than job loss. With more and more companies wanting to implement automated systems to perform these low skilled tasks they will need more people to build, program, and maintain these systems. An article written by Kevin Maney, a best-selling author and prevalent economic reporter, stated in a 2016 article the following:

       "The robotization of work will eat into more knowledge-based jobs. Low-level accounting 
       will get eaten by software. So, will basic writing: Bloomberg already uses AI to write 
       company earnings reports. Robots today can be better stock traders than humans. It won’t 
       be long before you’ll be able to contact an AI doctor via your smartphone, talk to it about 
       your symptoms, use your camera to show it anything it wants to see and get a triage 
       diagnosis that tells you to either take a couple of Advil or get to a specialist".[4]

So as the need for these complex automated systems increasing so will the need for the high skilled workers to create them. These factors lead many to believe that all labor will eventually be displaced into the technology field, but all agree the low-skilled jobs will be the first. This displacement is gradual right now though, and Digital Economics Experts researching at MIT state that “the era of mass technological unemployment is not imminent”[5]. Many companies are far off from being able to implement the systems needed to automate a mass amount of labor on a large scale.

  1. Automating the right stuff? The hidden ramifications of ensuring autonomous aerial weapon systems comply with international humanitarian law. Air force law review, 7285-122
  2. Finite-time stability of linear non-autonomous systems with time-varying delays. Advances In Difference Equations, 2018(1), 1-10. doi:10.1186/s13662-018-1557-3
  3. Robots Do Destroy Jobs and Lower Wages, Says New Study. The Verge.
  4. How Artificial Intelligence and Robots Will Radically Transform the Economy. Newsweek, 167(21), 31-37.
  5. Human Work in the Robotic Future: Policy for the Age of Automation. Foreign Affairs, 95(4), 139-150.