Asimov’s laws of robots
In this first part you will consider the relevance of Asimov’s ‘Three Laws of Robots’ today and the ethical concerns surrounding artificial intelligence and robotics in the workplace.

In a collection of short stories originally published between 1941 and 1957, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov anticipated the need for ethical rules that would guide the robots of the future when he formulated his ‘Three Laws of Robots’ designed to protect humans from robots:

A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
(Asimov, 1968)

The concerns initially posed by Asimov have moved beyond the realm of science fiction and many in the AI (artificial intelligence) community believe that the design of ‘moral machines’ is something that needs serious consideration and that Asimov’s rules need to be updated.

Thinking about a job in your own organisation (or an organisation you are familiar with) that might one day be completed by a decision-making AI machine, are the three laws articulated by Asimov adequate to meet the kinds of challenges these systems of the near future will likely present? Explain your position. Make any recommendation for modification or addition to Asimov’s three laws.

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Asimov’s laws of robots
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