It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
First steps towards adaptive and self-organizing computer systems are being already undertaken. Adaptivity, reconfigurability, emergence of new properties and self-organisation are topics in a variety of research projects. The aims of OC have become strategic goals of prominent IT companies like IBM, Sun, DaimlerChrysler or Siemens-Fujitsu
This is how HAL works in a nutshell: Hop in, move an appendage slightly, and the suit detects the movement. After that, it guides your natural movement, but with robotic efficiency. So if you're a senior citizen that has trouble getting around, you can move your arm slightly and let HAL help you reach the top shelf. It's powered by a 22-pound battery attached to the waist, and the leg braces can help the wearer walk, and even climb stairs.
It's already been available for rent in Japan, where it's produced by the manufacturer Cyberdyne, and now it's the first nursing-care robot to be approved based on the draft version of an international standard for robot safety. (The draft is expected to be approved later this year.) That probably puts it at the consumer forefront of robot suits, even if we've seen some military-type inventions with a similar idea.
The Department of Defense has awarded a lucrative contract to an engineering and robotics design company to develop and build humanoid robots that can act intelligently without supervision.
Humanity came one step closer in January to being able to replicate itself, thanks to the EU's approval of funding for the Human Brain Project. Danica Kragic, a robotics researcher and computer science professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, says that while the prospect of living among humanoid robots calls to mind terrifying scenarios from science fiction, the reality of how humans cope with advances in robotics will be more complex, and subtle.
Robots will challenge the way we feel about machines in general," Kragic says. "A completely different kind of society is on the way." The Human Brain Project will involve 87 universities in a simulation of the cells, chemistry and connectivity of the brain in a supercomputer, in order to understand the brain's architecture, organisation, functions and development. The project will include testing brain-enabled robots.
Starting with an overview of the issues and relevant ethical theories, the topics flow naturally from the possibility of programming robot ethics to the ethical use of military robots in war to legal and policy questions, including liability and privacy concerns. The contributors then turn to human-robot emotional relationships, examining the ethical implications of robots as sexual partners, caregivers, and servants. Finally, they explore the possibility that robots, whether biological-computational hybrids or pure machines, should be given rights or moral consideration.
Already, fascinating moral questions are emerging. If a robot malfunctions and harms someone, who is responsible -- the robot's owner, its manufacturer, or the robot itself? Under what circumstances can robots be put in positions of authority, with human beings required to obey them? Is it ethically wrong for robots to prey upon our emotional sensitivities -- should they be required to remind us, explicitly or implicitly, that they are only machines? How safe do robots need to be before they're deployed in society at large? Should cyborgs -- human beings with robot parts -- have a special legal status if their parts malfunction and hurt someone? If a police robot uses its sensors to perform a surveillance operation, does that constitute a search? (And can the robot decide if there is probable cause?)