Robotics is the most popular subject these days. Researchers and scientists are working on different prototypes of robots to introduce them into our lives and make them more convenient. Robots with their sense of understanding and analysing things come from artificial intelligence. Is this the doom of human civilisation? Well, the robots are bound by the 3 laws of robotics framed by Isaac Asimov.
Asimov gave the laws of robotics in his Foundation Series and Robot Stories. These were all written during 1942-49. It turns out to be the bible of the ethical system a robot has to follow. In this blog, we will discuss the three laws elaborately and how it protects humans from extermination. First, let us learn what robotics is.
Robotics is a branch of engineering that includes the contribution and innovation of machines driven by a conscience made of artificial intelligence. According to the robotics meaning, this branch of science and engineering explains how a non-living artificial thing will have its own thinking power and can analyse like humans.
The prime objective is to create intelligent machines that will make our lives easier and more convenient. These machines are built with the intention to help and assist humans in different aspects of life. It can be in the field of gardening or in war, in performing intricate surgeries or in taking care of house chores.
Too many movies related to artificial intelligence showing machines taking over the world give us spine chills. We see robots becoming smarter than humans and questioning our existence. Movies perfectly depict that humans are the only animals that destroy their own homes and machines have understood this clearly. Is the domination of humans in the hands of machines inevitable?
In this aspect, the novel ‘Runaround’ written by Isaac Asimov as fiction in 1942 shows remarkable relevance to artificial intelligence and its use in the modern world. In his novel, he explains the ethical system between robots and humans that stops the former from harming the latter. Despite being 80 years old, AI developers and robotics researchers still find the three laws to be relevant.
3 Robotics Laws of Asimov
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1. A robot will not allow a human being to come to harm or may not injure a human being through inaction.
2. A robot must and always will obey the orders given by humans unless the orders are in conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot is entitled to protect its own existence unless its protection is not in conflict with the First Law and Second Law.
He also added another rule later and called it the Zeroth Rule. According to this law of Asimov robotics, ‘a robot will not harm humanity or through any inaction will allow humanity to come to harm’. This law actually supersedes all the laws he mentioned in his science fiction novel.
You will also be surprised to know that the term ‘robotics’ was invented by the legendary science fiction writer in 941. He thought that this word already exists in the engineering and application fields relating to mechanics, hydraulics, etc. To his surprise, he was the first one to use this word.
The artificial intelligence we have now is not that powerful to comprehend such a huge feat. It is not too late that this type of AI will be developed. In fact, it can also happen that an AI can design another AI itself!
We have machines with AI that are taking care of our house chores. A Roomba is vacuuming our rooms. We have digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri that help us find answers to many questions. There are limits that make a Roomba not harm anyone. The algorithms and sensors protect us from such things.
Similarly, our virtual assistants will also not do stupid things such as turning on ovens or other devices to cause harm. We also have self-driving cars with very few reported accidents. Cars are driven using AI-powered platforms and will not harm the passengers.
To our surprise, this science fiction writer’s three laws are perfect and applicable to all the AI machines we design. We can also ensure the development of powerful AI platforms by instilling these laws and making the machines not harm us under any condition.
All these three laws have been shaped in a perfect way. They can depict almost any scenario where a human can be harmed or get injured due to the inaction of a robot. Even though we are a little distant from such a future, we might be able to witness it in real life. These laws will not let machines or robots break the ethical system and harm a human being.
The answer to what do you mean by robotics is generally based on the movies we watch. We have seen movies where humans live in simulations. We have watched a series related to AI detecting crimes before they happen. The future is based on AI and will become dependent on such robots.
This really worries us since robots might cost us dearly. Thanks to the creator of the three robotics laws while writing a science fiction novel that we know how to protect ourselves. These laws will be instilled in the AI-driven platforms that control robots.
Robots may be able to think and analyse on their own but will always remain loyal to their creators by following these three laws. We can clearly understand that these simple laws are the beginning to creating a harmless protocol for the robots to follow.