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Visiting “Good Robot/Bad Robot” event at Opera House

What will it mean to be living in a world powered by AI and Intelligent machines?

NISKA team seeks answer at the science week  Presented by Sydney Opera House and UNSW’s Centre for Ideas. 

The morality of self “thinking and learning” machines is a very controversial topic as humankind is yet to define the meaning of “love” “friendship” “empathy” in strict terms. How can we possibly explain the meaning of acting like a human to machines, if we are unable to reach an understanding in our own heads. NISKA shares the vision of Professor Toby Walsh (Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at UNSW) that robots, no matter how intelligent we make them, should never be used against human beings; replacing humans in the battlefield is one of the strongest and most frightening examples. Professor Walsh asserts that machines should not be allowed to make life-or-death decisions in the military, making the killing a remote task of a machine – it is an illusion that those machines won’t be ever used against us.

Another powerful topic that caught NISKA’s attention is: “Will Robots of the future be different to citizens of different countries”? Existing regulations of the robotic industries are still blurry and fall into grey zone of interpretation. Countries apply their own legislations upon internal Government decision. As an example, will it mean that robots implemented in Australia will differ in regulatory law applicable to them from robots implemented in third world countries? Now it the time to start thinking about it – Governments should make a united proactive decision on robotics legislations.

Overall speakers agreed that robots could make our lives more meaningful by helping us with routine time-wasting tasks. Potentially robots will facilitate our learning and development, and will assist and motivate us to make healthy lifestyle choices.  The discussions led to some in the panel of speakers to proffer that there needs to be remuneration reassessments on those meaningful jobs and occupations (such as child care providers, teachers, carers and other similar professions)  which require significant emotional envelopment from the people engaged .

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