Is Replacing People with Robots Unethical?

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As the speed of AI development continues, brilliant minds across AI ethicsthe globe have expressed their concerns with this advancement. Ellon Musk, Bill Gates, as well as Stephen Hawking, have warned us about the posing risks and dangers that come with Artificial Intelligence. In this article, you will better understand and weigh in on the risks and benefits of AI and robotics.

Efforts have been given in researching the ethical stands of AI and machine learning. This moved many scholars and industries in the previous years. Berkely, Harvard, Cambridge, and Oxford are some of the universities that are working on ethics and safety in AI.

Maintaining or increasing the speed of progress of robots right now will result in a tremendous transformation in the world. As Nick Bostrom stated in his paper: “Technological progress in all other fields will be accelerated by the arrival of advanced Artificial Intelligence.” In the same paper, he also said that “The ethical issues related to the possible future creation of machines with general intellectual capabilities far outstripping those of humans are quite distinct from any ethical problems arising in current automation and information systems. To the extent that ethics is a cognitive pursuit, a superintelligence could also easily surpass humans in the quality of its moral thinking. However, it would be up to the designers of the superintelligence to specify its original motivations.”

Is replacing people with robots unethical? Or replacing them is more ethical?


Robots will not just replace dull and dangerous jobs but also the ones that are complex, detailed and extensive thinking tasks. Let’s have truck driving for example. Truck driving has employed millions of people in different countries. Assuming that the self-driving trucks will become available in the next few decades, what will happen to them? However, if we think about it, considering the lower risk of dangers, self-driving trucks appears to be a more ethical choice.

Another example is with the medical field. If we deny the help of robots in developing better healthcare assistance, aren’t we also denying our future children cheaper and quality medical care in the future? Not just healthcare but also other industries’ development has greatly improved mankind’s way of living because of robots since the early times.

With great development and discoveries comes risk and safety concerns. It is very important that any kind of development must come along with human-friendly motivations. When deciding when to promote progress one must consider if it is feasible and if it has the capability to be further developed at the same time acknowledging the risks that may come along with it.


Image credit: Yahoo

Sources: Technology reviews, Weforum, BBC


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