News  |    |  July 27, 2017

Empowering robots for ethical behavior

Article by Conn Hastings.
Published in Frontiers Communications.


Scientists at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK have developed a concept called Empowerment to help robots to protect and serve humans, while keeping themselves safe.

Robots are becoming more common in our homes and workplaces and this looks set to continue. Many robots will have to interact with humans in unpredictable situations. For example, self-driving cars need to keep their occupants safe, while protecting the car from damage. Robots caring for the elderly will need to adapt to complex situations and respond to their owners’ needs.

Recently, thinkers such as Stephen Hawking have warned about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence, and this has sparked public discussion. “Public opinion seems to swing between enthusiasm for progress and downplaying any risks, to outright fear,” says Daniel Polani, a scientist involved in the research. [ . . . ]