The robots are coming and they’re getting smarter, evolving from single-task devices (think Roomba) into machines that can make their own decisions and autonomously navigate public spaces. From transportation systems, hospitals, and the military, to the robotization of our workplaces and households, robots will be everywhere and will increasingly interact with people. Whether you find it exhilarating or terrifying (or both), progress in robotics and related fields like AI raises new ethical quandaries and challenges to legal codes that were created for a world in which a sharp line separated man from machine. Drawing from her work exploring humans’ emotional responses to robots, Kate Darling examines why people fear some robots and empathize with others, while also prompting — and answering — questions about what society’s relationship with these robots could look like in the future— and why it matters.
- 2017 Festival