Want to make sure you are using robotics in an ethical way?
Robotics technology is evolving nearly every day. Robotics are helping out in a variety of industries, streamlining highly technical jobs and improving the way we live our lives.
As we get closer and closer to a future in which man and machine comfortably coexist, it’s important to understand the rules and ethical considerations of using robotics tech.
Read on to learn more about these rules so that you can be certain you are relying on robotics in the best way possible.
1. The Rule of Responsible Use
Robot ethics is actually a growing interdisciplinary field that researches the ethical uses of robotics technology. We live in a world in which robots are starting to take care of things that humans are used to doing, including precise medical procedures, transactions and e-commerce, and even military action.
A lot of debate has surfaced around the ethical use of robots in drone technology, particularly in drones that are used to kill people in wars.
While this discussion is still ongoing in many different circles, a clear rule to follow in robotics technology is the rule of responsible use.
We can see robotics as a type of functional technology designed to get things done in a better or more efficient way than human performance. Robotics in this way function as tools. And just as with any tool, it’s important to use these responsibly.
Take, for example, a car. Let’s say that you are going to borrow your best friend’s brand new car in order to drive across the country to visit your grandmother in a different state. Because your friend has entrusted her car to you, you are going to use it responsibly to avoid consequences.
This means that you will drive carefully, take good care of the interior and exterior, and make sure you return the car to your friend in good condition. You’ll use the car for the function you’ve agreed upon: as a means of transportation to your family member’s house.
Using robotics can be seen in the same way. It’s important to use technology responsibly and to treat it as a tool not to be abused.
2. Distinguishing Machine and Human
The biggest factor behind robot ethics is the fact that robotics are quickly taking on human qualities. People are sometimes quick to assume that there isn’t too much difference between the two or to project human traits onto machines.
There may not be anything wrong with this at first glance. Naming a pet robot, for example, is no different on some levels than naming a cat or a dog.
But when we equate humans and machines, ethical considerations start cropping up. Drone technology used in war, for example, could quickly start to look like human suicide bomber missions. And what about the rise of robotics in Japan used to address problems of pedophilia?
An important general rule is to recognize that machines are not human and that humans are not machines. In fact, using this different language of “machine” or “tool” to refer to robotics can be helpful in order to encourage responsible use.
3. Technology Should Advance Human Interest
Robotics technology is technology, at a fundamental level, and technology has come about generally to advance human interest. Tech makes things easier, improves human health, and encourages innovation.
Robotics is no different in this way than cellular phone or transportation technology. They should be viewed as tools for advancing human interest and the better good of all society.
If a robot in any way harms human interest or doesn’t cater to the overall global good, it is not being used responsibly.
4. Robotics Are Primarily Functional
This rule goes hand in hand with the one previous about using robotics technology to improve society.
Robotics are primarily designed for a function or a use. They should have a clearly identified function and should be approached as functional machines. In this light, using a robot intentionally means using it for a specific purpose.
Of course, a lot of robots exist “for fun.” Think about children’s toys for example or even pet mechanical dinosaurs. However, even these robots have a specific purpose: to entertain within set guidelines.
5. Respect Robotics
At the end of the day, the most important thing to keep in mind when using robotics ethically is to respect them. This does not mean equating them with humans–at least, not necessarily.
But it does mean using them responsibly and respecting what they offer society. Robotics have saved lives in the medical field, for example. They reduce traffic deaths, improve transportation and aviation, and can eliminate costs in a variety of fields. Robotics, if used properly, can also bring new jobs to the market and transform the worlds of education and commerce.
Because they offer so much potential to make our lives better, we have to respect robotics and use them mindfully. Foundational respect will inform wise decisions so that humanity can continue to evolve in the best way possible.
Rules of Robotics Technology
The advancements in robotics are improving so many aspects of our lives, from medical care to transportation. With the rise of robotics technology, we have to be sure we are implementing these machines in an ethical way.
As you use your robotics, no matter what industry you are a part of, keep in mind the rule of responsible use. Robotics are machines and functional tools at the end of the day, and they should be used to advance human interest and improve society. This means using robotics with intention and respect. It also means continuing to discuss ethical considerations and keeping the channels of debate open.
At Sastra Robotics, we believe in a future of coexistence between machines and humans. We’ve partnered with international leaders in robotics technology and are continuing to advance in the field of high-end industrial robotics. We create robotic solutions ethically and mindfully within all industries.
Read more about our services or reach out to us today with any questions about robotics and ethics!