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Scientists, Lawyers Mull Effects Of Home Robots

Publication Date: 
December 06, 2009
Source: 
Associated Press
Author: 
Brooke Donald

Ryan Calo, a residential fellow at the Center for Internet & Society, is quoted in this article on legal issues relating to robotics:

Eric Horvitz illustrates the potential dilemmas of living with robots by telling the story of how he once got stuck in an elevator at Stanford Hospital with a droid the size of a washing machine.

"I remembered thinking, 'Whoa, this is scary,' as it whirled around, almost knocking me down," the Microsoft researcher recalled. "Then, I thought, 'What if I were a patient?' There could be big issues here."

...

As such 'bots become more sophisticated, they could complicate questions about product liability. Ryan Calo, a fellow with Stanford's Center for Internet and Society, pointed out in a recent panel discussion at Stanford Law School that the original manufacturer might not always be liable if a robot went haywire.

"Robots are not just things the manufacturer builds and you go out and use them in a specific way. Robots can often be instructed, they can be programmed, you can have software that is built upon by others," he said.