Would you hug a robot?
Our relationship with robots has been a fraught one, informed by Hollywood movies and dystopian fantasies. Asimov, the great science fiction author, introduced his Three Laws of Robotics with the need for humans to control robots in mind, and they have very much influenced our thinking up the present day. But they have been around since the 1940s, so are definitely due for a revision. There have indeed been a few tweaks to those Three Laws over time, but bearing in mind recent developments, there should be a more radical overhaul of our thinking.
Robots have undeniably proved their worth in the COVID crisis, disinfecting public places, serving meals and helping people self-distance. Blinky’s Law states that ‘Robots and humans should have meaningful relationships.’ That seems a much more future-ready Law than the Asimov Laws. The future will be about a collaborative relationship with robots and AI, not an adversarial one.
It’s time to start hugging robots.
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