About this book
There have been huge advances in robot technology in the last few years. More and more "humanlike" robots are being developed in labs for a wide variety of medical, manufacturing, and commercial uses. These "smart" people lookalikes are being designed to help with household chores, as office workers, to perform tasks in space and in other dangerous environments, and to assist in schools and hospitals. Humanlike robots, in other words, are coming, and they may fundamentally change the way we live, even the way we view ourselves.
Will robots that look and act a lot like us be a threat to us? Or will they blend into our culture and eventually even be considered peers? Will they have feelings along with their artificial skin and metal bones? Will they act ethically? Are we taking sufficient care to make sure that they do?
These questions and many more are posed by the authors of this important book, which demands that we take steps now to insure that the technology doesn’t lead us into potentially dangerous scenarios with a "species" we have created. What laws will be needed to keep things under control? Should robots be allowed to store private and personal information in their circuits or be given freedom to act on their own? Do we want robots as teachers, police officers, doctors, and accountants, or do we want them to only do menial tasks? Will there be "renegade" robots that set out to harm people? Will robot soldiers increase the chance of war?
There are no easy answers to these questions. But the time to look for answers is now.