- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
The famous and widely known Three Laws of robotics formulated by Isaac Asimov – a biochemist who wrote a large amount of scientific and science fiction books about robots and the serious potential threats they could impose upon humankind in the future. These laws, only realistic in Asimov’s fictional world, suddenly do not seem so surreal when a great mind of science comes and expresses the worries about the future where artificial intelligence will be operating the robots and the systems. In 2014 Steven Hawking shared his doubts on AI, “I believe there is no deep difference between what can be achieved by a biological brain and what can be achieved by a computer. It therefore follows that computers can, in theory, emulate human intelligence — and exceed it.” Steven Hawking adds, “In short, the rise of powerful AI will be either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity. We do not yet know which.”
Even though AI theorists, machine ethicists, and machine intelligence researchers believe they are covering all crucial attributes in their extensive research to avoid potential dangers that AI may represent, many still fear a future scenario linked to the popular sci-fi concept of Skynet. AI could be potentially dangerous if we consider a simple premise that it has its own intuitive algorithms, errorless logic, and ability to choose how to accomplish a goal.
However, I believe AI will help humankind face up to a wide range of challenges which we have failed to address so far. Winning the battle against climate change is clearly one of them. From optimizing technologies to limiting waste, running smart cities to robots that could operate in hostile parts of the planet’s ecosystems in order to monitor and collect data or even implement solutions to safeguard the survival of our only habitat. The benefits of robotics and AI in the very near future to combat the climate change will be following:
- Optimizing production – energy efficient precise manufacturing
- Precise environmental monitoring in hostile areas: Video
- Efficient systems running smart cities – increasing energy efficiency of urban areas
AI’s significant (if not the leading) role in combating climate change seems inevitable. However, according to MIRI (Machine Intelligence Research Institute), the predictions of AI development are very diverse. Apart from trying to answer the questions like – will AI replace humans? When it will become dangerous?… MIRI is trying to find the format that would be empirically verifiable. A study published in 2007 concluded that human-level AI arrival was estimated at 15-25 years (Armstrong & Sotala, 2007). If this prediction is correct, very soon we will see the dawn of AI and its application in combating climate change.
Armstrong, S., Sotala, K., (2007) How We’re Predicting AI – or Failing To. MIRI. Retrieved from: https://intelligence.org/research/#FC
Cellan-Jones, R., (2016). Stephen Hawking – will AI kill or save humankind?
Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-37713629
Techniques for Smarter Mobility. INSTICC (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.insticc.org/portal/NewsDetails/TabId/246/ArtMID/1130/ArticleID/534/-Making-Smart-Cities-Smarter—Using-Artificial-Intelligence-Techniques-for-Smarter-Mobility.aspx
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