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Tracking the Future
Explore the most important technology and science trends! News, Analysis, Interviews, Presentations, Documentaries. All in one place at Tracking the future magazine
Curated by Szabolcs Kósa
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The New Rules of Robot/Human Society

As technology speeds forward, humans are beginning to imagine the day when robots will fill the roles promised to us in science fiction. But what should we be thinking about today, as robots like military and delivery drones become a real part of our society? How should robots be programmed to interact with us? How should we treat robots? And who is responsible for a robot's actions? As we look at the unexpected impact of new technologies, we are obligated as a society to consider the moral and ethical implications of robotics.

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The Pros and Cons of Killer Robots

The Pros and Cons of Killer Robots | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The United Nations on Thursday was dealing with a surprisingly pressing issue: killer robots.
In Geneva, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Christof Heyns, called for a moratorium on the development of drones that are programmed to target and fire without human intervention. “War without reflection is mechanical slaughter,” he said. “In the same way that the taking of any human life deserves at the minimum some deliberation, a decision to allow machines to be deployed deserves a collective pause, in other words, a moratorium.”

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Are We Paying Enough Attention to Information Technology’s Dark Side?

Are We Paying Enough Attention to Information Technology’s Dark Side? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

For centuries, the threat and selective use of brute force has steered the international balance of power. In the last couple decades, the system has increasingly accommodated economic power as a means of non-violent leverage between states. Now, says Singularity University’s Marc Goodman, we must add technology into the mix.
Technological power is not new, of course, but information technology’s exponential pace and declining cost is changing how the global game is played and who the players are. Control of technology is passing from the richest states and governments to smaller groups and individuals, and the results are both inspiring and terrifying.
As Goodman says, “The ability of one to affect many is scaling exponentially—and it’s scaling for good and it’s scaling for evil.”

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Will 3-D printers make patents obsolete?

3-D printers are expected to impact the daily lives of everyone across the globe. As of now, the capabilities of the printers vary from printed gun parts to body parts, but many wonder what legal implications come with such technology. RT's Bob English has more on the boundless machinery.

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Will 3D Printing Change the World?

Much attention has been paid to 3D Printing lately, with new companies developing cheaper and more efficient consumer models that have wowed the tech community. They herald 3D Printing as a revolutionary and disruptive technology, but how will these printers truly affect our society? Beyond an initial novelty, 3D Printing could have a game-changing impact on consumer culture, copyright and patent law, and even the very concept of scarcity on which our economy is based. From at-home repairs to new businesses, from medical to ecological developments, 3D Printing has an undeniably wide range of possibilities which could profoundly change our world

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How can we govern new life forms?

How can we govern new life forms? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

‘Synthetic biology’ is an emergent scientific field with enormous potential for development and technological advancement. However, it also carries an equal capacity for risk and for harmful results to derive from the advancement of the science. Consequently, it is widely recognised in academic papers, political documents, and public discourse as requiring regulation on national and global levels, on both an ethical plane and as a safeguard.

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Artifice Earth: Adam Rutherford on the Promises of Synthetic Biology

Artifice Earth: Adam Rutherford on the Promises of Synthetic Biology | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

In the basement recording studio of the journal Nature scientist and broadcaster Adam Rutherford sat down with speculative architect Liam Young to discuss the mythical beasts of synthetic biology. Rutherford recently worked with the BBC on a series called the ‘Gene Code’ which explored the consequences of decoding the human genome. Recognizing the potential externalities of communicating science poorly, Rutherford works at conveying the poorly understood field of synthetic biology to a broader audience.

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Cyborgs in the Workplace: Why We Will Need New Labor Laws

Cyborgs in the Workplace: Why We Will Need New Labor Laws | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it
Get ready to work alongside cyborgs at the office, the shop and the warehouse. Get ready to send your kids off to be taught and babysat by cyborgs. Get ready to engage in water cooler banter with cyborgs, collaborate with cyborgs, attend power meetings with cyborgs and carpool with cyborgs. Get ready to watch laughably sterile corporate videos at your workplace on how to prevent cyborg-discrimination and what to do if you suspect that it’s occurring. 
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The Future of Artificial Intelligence

The Future of Artificial Intelligence | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Robots are here to stay. They will be smarter, more versatile, more autonomous, and more like us in many ways. We humans will need to adapt to keep up.

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luiy's curator insight, March 25, 2013 5:36 PM
New technologies, new moralities

Religious and other organizations will define and attempt to regulate the ways in which human treat humanoid robots, since they will be considered quasi-human, sentient creatures that must be treated with respect and not abused. Thus, the changing legal and social framework will deal with the proper use of robots by humans as well as the proper behavior of robots toward humans, and new sets of “post-Asimov” laws will emerge.

 

Finally, a few concluding thoughts. The rapid increase in the number and sophistication of autonomous systems, including humanoid robots, lead to dramatic changes in society. Robots will assume an increasing share of human work and responsibility, thus creating a major social problem with unemployment and the relations of humans and robots. I believe that new frameworks for these interactions will emerge within the next 25 to 50 years. If they do not, there may be neo-Luddite rebellions, in which humans will attempt to destroy large numbers of robots. Those of us who design, program, and implement robots have a major responsibility to assist in the creation and implementation of patterns of behavior and legal systems to ensure that robots and humans co-evolve and co-exist for the benefit of society.

 

Robots are here to stay. They will be smarter, more versatile, more autonomous, and more like us in many ways. We humans will need to adapt to this coming world.

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Should we put robots on trial?

Should we put robots on trial? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

With most robot-like machines that exist today, any serious problems can be easily traced back to a human somewhere, whether because the machine was used carelessly or because it was intentionally programmed to do harm. But experts in artificial intelligence and the emerging field of robot ethics say that is likely to change. With the advent of technological marvels like the self-driving car and increasingly sophisticated drones, they say we’ll soon be seeing the emergence of machines that are essentially autonomous. And when these machines behave in ways unpredictable to their makers, it will be unclear who should be held legally responsible for their actions.
With their eyes on this apparently inevitable future, some specialists have started to argue that our legal system is woefully unprepared—that in a world in which more and more decisions are made by entities with no moral compass, the laws we have are not enough. In fact, some are arguing that it’s time to do something surprising: to extend our idea of what it means to be an “independent actor,” and perhaps even hold the robots themselves legally culpable.

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Beyond Asimov: the struggle to develop a legal framework for robots

Beyond Asimov: the struggle to develop a legal framework for robots | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

"Robots are no longer science fiction, as they have left the factory and are arriving in our homes," says Salvini from the BioRobotics Institute at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA) in Pisa, Italy. And Asimov's Three Laws simply aren't sufficient.
As part of the unique EU-backed €1.5 million RoboLaw Project, Salvini is managing a team of roboticists, lawyers and philosophers (yes, philosophers) from a consortium of European universities, who are working hard to come up with proposals for the laws and regulations necessary to manage emerging robotics technologies in Europe in time to present them to European Commission a year from now. The consortium comprises the University of Tilburg (the Netherlands), the Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Reading and the SSSA.

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Sophie Martin's curator insight, March 19, 2013 5:19 AM

 

What laws, how to define them about such unconceivable object …heu…thing…euh person? Well some note :
"I can't define a robot, but I know one when I see one"(Joseph Engelberger, one of the fathers of robotics)
The list, says Salvini, takes into account autonomous robots, including neurobiotics -- robots controlled via a brain-computer interface -- and service robots that operate in the home, cities and other public roles.
"These are exactly the kind of problems that roboticists will struggle with, as while they need to test their robots outside of the laboratory they are not always good at dealing with the social and legal environment."
After all, there are some schools of thought see robots as autonomous individuals with the same or comparable rights as those of humans. "Or how do you actually describe a robot? You can address it like an animal or pet, but if your dog attacks someone then you are liable."
‘A key issue is the lack of public awareness and debate about these issues. "So many people see our research as 'science fiction work', although we are working mainly on problems society is facing right now," explains Beck, adding that it's necessary to inform society about the existing research -- often taking place behind closed doors -- and potential applications.”
"After all, lawyers cannot answer questions for society." Society has first to decide which robots it wants to accept, which risks it wants to take, who should be responsible for damages caused by robots, she warns.”
Ect ….ect …
hughrlk...
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The Robots We Build To Kill For Us

The Robots We Build To Kill For Us | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

While Isaac Asimov's famous (fictional) robot laws are all about protecting human life, it seems that at an ever-faster rate we fragile humans are actually using our robots to wage war in real life or deliver police authority from the sky.

That's prompted an interesting blog posting this week at the Wall Street Journal. Referencing Asimov's three laws, the blog asks "should robots have a license to kill?" It's a key question because we actually are giving some of our robots weapons that are trained on humans, and there's rarely a couple of weeks that go by without mention of the "drone war" on targets in the hills of Afghanistan or Pakistan. Drones work well in these inaccessible regions and can loiter in the area before being commanded to fire on a target they've detected with their sensors. Yet it's a tactic that doesn't always result in the right outcome.

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