The text that am going to focus in this essay is “The Ethical Frontiers of Robotics” by Noel Sharkey. The text talks about how the use of robots has risen due to the increased demand that they pose. The service robots are usually used for different purposes starting from cleaning windows or sewers, harvesting fruits, disposing of bombs, assisting surgeons and doctors, entertainment, and performing the domestic chorest. However, robots are usually not entrusted when it comes to providing care for children and developing them as weaponry for use by the military. The words that were interesting for me in the text are robotics, computing, semiautonomous, auditory, mobility, and zoomorphism. The phrases that were difficult to me at first include ground based and unmanned autonomous vehicles, Childminding robots, sophisticated control algorithms, artificial intelligence, and human-robot interaction.
This paper will critically delineate my response to the text “The Ethical Frontiers of Robotics” by bringing up ideas brought up by Noel Sharkey and how they relate to my knowledge in the field of robotics. Sharkey’s idea pertaining to robots come out clearly that they are used to offer different services to human beings, Sharkey put it clear that service robots are mainly in high demand since they are used to do ditty jobs that are either risky or dirty to be done by human beings. He lists some services offered by robots like pumping gasoline, assisting surgeons, performing domestic and industrial duties, disposing bombs, and harvesting fruits. I agree with Sharkey that as the world is turning to be digital, machines like robots are used to replace the activities that were previously done by humans Some of the activities are hazardous to humans like working in biochemical laboratories, which are done by the robots.
My position concerning the use of robots to offer services to humans is that they reduce the risk and threat of working in a dangerous environment like pumping gasoline. Noel’s idea is that there are two areas where robots have not been entrusted which are taking care of the elderly and children and being used as weaponry by the military. Here, Sharkey is afraid in a situation where the robot malfunction or has a fault I think the questions he is trying to ask himself is that what would happen if the robot malfunction and start fighting a child or an elderly person? On the other hand, if they are weapons can they be trusted to fight the real enemy or can they turn against the user in case their control is taken over? I agree with Sharkey that offering care for children and the elderly and using robots as weaponry are potential risks I do not see the importance of leaving a child to be taken care by a robot. Since the child requires to learn more from a fellow human while growing up Robots can also be used as pets to offer companions to human beings such as Paro that is made to be soft and cuddly.
The pets robots according to Noel are designed to imitate various features of real pets. For example, purring when they are touched Sharkey’s position concerning pet robots is that despite them having the capability of emulating real pets, they are just machines and denies humans interaction with animals. From my perspective, pets are usually there to give the companion to humans. By using robots to act as pets will greatly destroy the human-animal relation since a robot cannot manage to imitate all the behaviors of a real petr. Therefore, my position is that robots should not be used as pets since they cannot provide enough companion to the human character. Humans should enjoy the relationship with animals but not programmed machines. Noel’s idea is that there exists a big problem using robots as a weapon.
Despite how well a robot is made, it must have a human loop in order to make the decision of when to apply lethal force, Hence, no robots that are already there which can autonomously locate the targets and destroy them without human intervention. Robots use computational systems that are not able to differentiate between combatants and non-combatants. The computer programs in order to differentiate between innocent and combatants require a precise definition of noncombatant, which is not available I agree with Sharkey that a robot cannot know who is an enemy and who is not. So in times of war it can end up killing many innocent people I stand in the position that robots should not be highly used as weaponry before they are educated. Since there are machine learning, it means that robots can be exposed to the environment as learners before they provide services.
In conclusion, it is evident that Noel Sharkey, “The Ethical Frontiers of Robotics” clearly implicates the different fields in which robots can be used. Robots can be important to humans since they are used to offer various services. Some of the services offered by robots are risky and offer a threat to human beings. However, robots cannot be entrusted with giving care to the elderly and children and as weaponry by the military. These two areas are risky in case of a robot malfunction since it can result in loss of lives. Robots can also be used as pets by humans though they deny humans interaction with real pet. Since robot are operated by humans, a clear definition of the responsibilities that it is supposed to carry out is required. These will help when it comes to offering services by robots and particularly as weaponry.