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Brave New World Of Robot Litigants, Soldiers, Escorts

Publication Date: 
April 21, 2012
Source: 
The Miami Herald
Author: 
Glenn Garvin

Director of Privacy and Robotics at the Center for Internet and Society M. Ryan Calo took part in a University of Miami law school conference on ethical and legal issues arising from the widespread use of robots in everyday life. He was quoted by Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald in the following article:

The robots are coming! And they’re going to be ratting us out to police (except when they are the police), suing us for sexual harassment (except for the robot hookers in approved android whorehouses), and sending the cost of our homeowners insurance through the roof (unless they’ve already slaughtered us in our beds at night).

That, at least, was the picture that emerged Saturday at We Robot, a University of Miami law school conference on the ethical and legal issues posed by the galloping developments in technology that have put uncounted millions of robots to work for us, from the cute little Roomba that sweeps floors to the killer drones flying around Afghanistan blowing up accused al Qaida terrorists.

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“The kiosk from Hell!” exclaimed another panelist, Stanford law school’s Ryan Calo, who then offered up an even more ominous scenario: What’s to stop police from recruiting your robots to inform on you?

“Suppose your robot butler asks you, ‘How’s the marijuana crop this year?’ ” he wondered.