Thursday, November 29, 2012
Here is an issue PR strategists should start thinking about -- the moral choices of robots. This story is focused on driver-less cars but as robots take over more of daily life, there are other areas as well. For example, the roles of robotic assistants to the elderly. There are such machines in existence. The issue, of course, is what a robot should do when the unexpected happens for which it isn't prepared or programmed. Robots need default modes that do the least harm to humans but it isn't always clear what the least harm might be. Humans have the same moral dilemmas. Forecasters are now saying we can see driver-less cars on the road in 10 years or so. Given the speed with which the technology has developed, it might be sooner. Driver-less cars have already journeyed hundreds of thousands of miles, and two states -- Nevada and California -- have made provisions for them on their roads. While the article calls for collaboration of philosophers, computer scientists, legislators and lawyers, there is a huge role for communications to make issues understood. That's where we come in.