The “first law” robot was designed by Alexander Reben of Berkeley, California. Reben, an artist and roboticist, has a long history of different art projects. One of them is a website that mixes U.S. patents, and then publishes them under a Creative Commons license. His newest creation is certainly his most intriguing.
The robot — dubbed the “First Law” robot after Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics — will detect a finger under it, and then “decide” whether or not to prick the finger. Sometimes, it draws blood.
Reben claims that his robot is the first that is intentionally designed to harm or injure a human being. His reasoning is “to take it out of the thought experiment realm (and) into reality.”
Reben’s robot is not a complicated machine, but the ethics of its intentional harm raises an important discussion when it comes to robotics. Up until this point, most roboticists have generally followed Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics.
The “Three Laws of Robotics” were created by science fiction writer Isaac Isamov. The first law reads that robots may not harm people. The second says that robots must obey the orders of people, but only if those orders don’t violate the first law.
Although an interesting thought experiment, the robot actually appears to just be injuring people randomly, and not intentionally inflicting harm based on outside criteria, Fast Machine reported.
Reben said he hopes people will take his robot — and the ethical repercussions that it creates — and come together to solve complex ideas.
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