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The new laws of robotics — building on Asimov’s science fiction legacy in the age of AI

By Erik Korsvik Østergaard, 14. December 2020

Professor Pasquale says while Asimov’s ideas were well founded, they assumed a certain technological trajectory that no longer holds — innovations are not always for the good of humanity.

“Whereas Asimov is talking about how we have robots help people and not harm them, I’m talking about how we democratise the direction of technology,” he says.

Also, he draws an important distinction between AI and what he terms IA — intelligence augmentation.

“The artificial intelligence goal is often to replace human beings, to create, for example, a robot doctor or a robot teacher. The intelligence augmentation goal is to help human beings.”


New law 1: AI should complement professionals, not replace them
New law 2: Robotic systems and AI should not counterfeit humanity
New law 3: Robotic systems and AI should not intensify zero-sum arms races
New law 4: Robotic systems and AI must always indicate the identity of their creator(s), controller(s) and owner(s)

On the positive side, we absolutely need constantly updated and relevant approaches to AI (or IA).

On the negative side, this might slow down some areas of innovation. In addition, if not embraced by all industries globally, this will create a skewed business landscape where some take this seriously and others not.

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