• Question: Will robots take over the world one day?

    Asked by Holly Reece to Hannah, Lucy, Phil, Stephen on 14 Mar 2017.
    • Photo: Phil Sutton

      Phil Sutton answered on 14 Mar 2017:

      Hopefully not. Maybe we should hold off allowing robots to think for themselves too much. So long as we have control over what they do we are safe.

    • Photo: Lucy Kissick

      Lucy Kissick answered on 14 Mar 2017:

      If you mean will robots take most of our jobs and outcompete us by performing them better than any human, then yes! This is slowly happening already. Think of train ticket machines instead of speaking to a ticketmaster, or Costa coffee machines instead of a barista. Engineers are working on self driving cars that won’t require a driver, and robots have even been invented that can write music. But this isn’t a bad thing: perhaps one day with so many tasks done for us the idea of having a job will be laughable, and we can all just do what we want.

    • Photo: Stephen Pulker

      Stephen Pulker answered on 15 Mar 2017:

      Maybe! It’s possible! But who can say . . .?

    • Photo: Hannah Sargeant

      Hannah Sargeant answered on 15 Mar 2017:

      There are actually rules that all robots must follow and they are programmed into complex robots. These rules are called Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics”.

      A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

      A robot must obey 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.

      Hopefully with these rules in place robots could never take over the world unless we wanted them to!