I’m not worried about depressed robots. But I am worried about masses of people being depressed about robots. Or any other form of autonomous system, for that matter. How we use them, how we communicate and interact–and ultimately control them–is critical. IEEE, ever in the forefront of maintaining standard practices and ethical approaches to technology, is directly in the fray on this one, with its Initiative on Symbiotic Autonomous Systems. Roberto Saracco, a noted computer scientist and educator from Turin, Italy, is co-director of the initiative; he joins me for this episode of Seeking Delphi.™
” The only true disability is a crushed spirit.”–Aimee Mullins
In this final instalment from the first Seeking Delphi™ visit to SXSW, we hear from two of the most remarkable individuals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
The session, entitled Extreme Bionics: The Future of Human Ability, delved 100 years into the past, covering the history of prosthetic devices from the crude low-tech devices built for World War I amputees, through to the increasingly high tech devices of today. Furthermore, it looked to a future that might bridge the final gap to neurological embodyment of artificial limbs, and various technologies that will enhance natural biological human abilities along with prosthetic devices.
Aimee Mullins was born without shin bones and lost both of her legs below the knee at the age of one. She has hardly let that stop her–she was a paralympian and is a model and actress. Most notably, she had a recurring role in season two of the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things.
Hugh Herr lost both of legs below the knee at age 18 to frostbite suffered in a mountain climbing mishap. He is an associate professor and head of the biomechatronics group at MIT’s Media Lab.
In keeping with the future theme of Seeking Delphi™ I asked both of them to imagine the future of these technologies. This panel was part of the IEEE Tech for Humanity series at SXSW 2018. Acknowlegements to them, and to Interprose, for arranging these interviews.
“The pace of progress on Mars depends upon the pace of progress of SpaceX.”–Elon Musk
Who will get there first?
Oh really, Elon? It seems that Boeing may have something to say about that. We got to the moon because of a frantic race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, propelled by the cold war. If an when we get to Mars, it just might be because of a frantic race between commercial ventures, fueled by the almighty dollar.
While you’re reading about all this week’s future-related news, don’t forget that you can subscribe to Seeking Delphi™ podcasts on iTunes or PlayerFM, and you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook
Artificial Intelligence–The IEEE released the second edition of its global treatise on ethics of autonomous and intelligent systems, today. The report can be requested for download here. The report was mentioned in Seeking Delphi™ podcast episode #17, featuring an interview with the initiative’s executive director, John C. Havens. (YouTube video link below).
“The real question is, when will we draft an artificial intelligence bill of rights? What will that consist of? And who will get to decide that?” —Gray Scott
Gray Scott’s comment aside, there are more pressing issues than a robot bill of rights. Artificial intelligence development is progressing at an ever accelerating rate, and bringing with it questions of privacy, unemployment, and potential malevolent uses of the technology. In this edition of the Seeking Delphi™ podcast, I talk with author John C. Havens about these issues. He’s executive director of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations In Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems.
Links to relevant stories appear after the audio file and embedded YouTube video below. A reminder that Seeking Delphi is available on iTunes, PlayerFM, and has a channel on YouTube. You can also follow us onFacebook