Robbie the robot goes (w)rong!


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There is very little written on how the law should deal with real life robots andmuch of it highly aspirational, based on ideas of human-intelligent robots that may never happen. THis ppt tries to look at legal issues for robots in now to 5-10 years on, and focuses on liability for harms caused by robots in domestic/consumer settings.

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  • NATO Hummingbird drone – v smallIssues of ethics of cyber and robowar
  • Industrial robots – good for dangerous repetitive tasks - esp in hazardous environments eg down mines, in oceans, in space?
  • On military robots .. Not quite yet at Terminato’r s SKYnet Judgment Day despote considerable apprehnsion on twitter as the day came and went this year on 20 April 2011 when it was meant to become self aware..
  • NATO Hummingbird drone – v smallIssues of ethics of cyber and robowarDrone planes – removing the human from loop to get rid of the “command” delayInability to distinguishcivilan from military targetsChild soldiers from adultSurrender from other actions etcProportionality of total war vs “human” enemies – no feat of body bags to inhibit warfare
  • Kitties and rumbas
  • Panasonic hair washing robot
  • Moves towards “robots” that would act as carers by both providing anthromorphisised companionship and performing surveillance – cfiKettles, smart chairs, smart toilets etc – sending telemetry to remote doctors or relatives – used on childrens or geriatric wards, in care homes for the merely oldIn UK – NAO – allegedly first humanoid robot to feel emotions for use in child care – Aug 2010
  • Rooxxy, Aug 2010, US ! Snores & can discuss Man U football – more like a man than a woman.. Douglas Hines apparently wants to charge $7,000 to $9,000 for Roxxxy and an attached laptop running its software. Read more:
  • Google cars have clocked up 140 000 miles – not seen as legal to be allowed out on own altho Arizona has passed a law specifically legalising them – but also smart roads, sensor equipped – smart chips in cars enabling surveillance and some control – etc.. Stanford, OxfordThe Nevada state legislature JUNE 2011 has just passed a bill, Assembly Bill No. 511, that does two things. First, the law allows the Nevada Department of Transportation to create rules and regulations regarding the use of self-driving cars, so that they can be used legally on the road. The second part of the law requires the Nevada state Department of Transportation to designate areas in which these vehicles can be tested. The cars in question use a wide array of sensor, GPS technology and a little but of help from an artificial intelligence program to function
  • Instead of Three Laws of Robotics, we have devised a Five Ethics for Roboticists,which are aimed at researchers, designers,manufacturers, suppliers and maintainers ofrobots.
  • serious work on roboethics – a term coined in 2004 by GianmarcoVeruggio, lead author of the European Robotics Research Network Roboethics Roadmap – is not. Several countries have drafted ethical or standards frameworksfor robotics, notably South Korea and Japan, and there is a growing literature on autonomousrobot weapons. However, much of it focuses on the safety, accountability and even morality of robots’ behaviour.But tends to be fairly aspirational with few gard line rules on who of the manufacturer, programmer, user, adapter, owner or operator of robot is reponsible if “something goes wrong”
  • Omission/commissionHow far does learning go?Is there a difference between insecurity of robots =? Disclosure to 3rd parties – marketers, scammers/ govts and general privacy scene re disclosure when data is centrally accumuated and processed without clear explicit informed consnet?
  • Exemption of producers from liability: the producer is freed from all liability if he proves:that he did not put the product into circulation;that the defect causing the damage came into being after the product was put into circulation by him;that the product was not manufactured for profit-making sale;that the product was neither manufactured nor distributed in the course of his business;that the defect is due to compliance of the product with mandatory regulations issued by the public authorities;that the state of scientific and technical knowledge at the time when the product was put into circulation was not such as to enable the defect to be discovered. On this point, the Member States are permitted to take measures by way of derogation;in the case of a manufacturer of a component of the final product, that the defect is attributable to the design of the product or to the instructions given by the product manufacturer.
  • ? Is there any value here in trying to come up with rules for “robots” or just for each robot as it arises?Cf privacy – where every robot which gathers data about humans in its surroundings does have a similarity to other bugsIndustry codes are in fact main reg’y mechanism currently – industrial robots – t0ys? - holding back domestic robotics in West? Eg current regulator U of new medical tech had not addressed issue of robots yet (nor privacy in smart pacemakers)
  • Robbie the robot goes (w)rong!

    1. 1. Robbie the Robot Goes (W)Rong!<br />Lilian Edwards<br />Professor of E-Governance<br />University of Strathclyde<br />GikIIGothenberg<br />June 2011<br />
    2. 2. What this isn’t about<br />Human-intelligent robots /“Strong AI”<br />The “singularity”<br />Transhumanism (human mind into metal container)<br />Cyborgism (human mind/body enhanced by robotics)<br />Here and now – robots “about as intelligent as dishwashers”, or lobsters (Winfield)<br />Current/near current legal issues – 5-10 years away<br />Not (exclusively) morality, ethics or philosophy – real problems not “case studies”<br />
    3. 3. Why be so boring?<br />ESPRC retreat on robot ethics, September 2011<br />Roboticists, philosophers, law, ethics, cultural studies, journalism<br />Why? fear that robots will be the “next GM”: held back by public fears<br />
    4. 4. Why now?<br />Robots are “ a mechanicalcontraption which can perform tasks on its own, or with guidance”. Ability to learn often added. Need not be humanoid. May be “swarm” entity not isolate. Embodiment probably vital to definition cf AI, bots.<br />Robots already prevalent in military, industrial use<br />However now moving into consumer, domestic, and “caring” environments<br />Sales of professional/service domestic robots => 11.5 m in 2011 (double from 2008)<br />Japan leader; S Korea aims 1 robot/ home by 2015.<br />US/West lag behind – cultural issues? Technophobia vs loving the alien.<br />
    5. 5.
    6. 6.
    7. 7.
    8. 8. DOMESTIC ROBOTS<br />
    9. 9. AIBO<br />ASIMO<br />
    10. 10. Newer care robots - PARO<br />
    11. 11. Sexbots<br />
    12. 12. Smart robot transport<br />
    13. 13. Slicing the legal cake?<br />Robots as legal category (cf “virtual property”)<br />Analogies:<br />Person (legal personality)<br />Slave (lesser legal personality – cf Katz, Roman law of slavery to get round agency issues re bots)<br />Animal? (animate, sub-legal personality, unpredictable, some anthropomorphism)<br />*Tool – machine – car – manaufactured object<br />Fails to capture aspect of learning/adap[tivity/unpredictability<br />Software?<br />Split it by legal area? Liability for harm caused (who is responsible?); privacy; (criminal law?)<br />
    14. 14. Asimov’s Three laws of Robotics<br />A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.<br />A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.<br />A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.<br />
    15. 15. 3 (5) Laws for Roboticists<br />Edwards' Three Laws for Roboticists1.Robots are multi-use tools. Robots should not be designed solely or primarily to kill, except in the interests of national security.2 Humans are responsible for the actions of robots. Robots should be designed & operated as far as is practicable to comply with existing laws & fundamental rights and freedoms, including privacy.3) Robots are products. As such they should be designed using processes which assure their safety and security (which does not exclude their having a reasonable capacity to safeguard their integrity).<br />
    16. 16. .. Plus..<br />Robots are manufactured artefacts, so they should not be designed in a deceptive way to exploit vulnerable users (their machine nature should be transparent);<br /> It should always be possible to find out who is legally responsible for a robot. (cf registered keeper of cars? Register of data controllers? Person who “signed” contract to buy robot?)<br />=> first legal area for immediate concern – liability.<br />
    17. 17. Possible harms<br /><ul><li>A military robot kills a civilian by mistake
    18. 18. A mining robot excavates wrong area and landslip results damaging civilian houses
    19. 19. A Roomba trips up an old person who hurts herself
    20. 20. A care robot fails to stop one child from hitting another (?) as not in programmed remit; or report an old person swallowing too many pills (not too few)
    21. 21. A sex robot “learns” one kind of behaviour as desirable from person A (eg caning) that causes harm to person B
    22. 22. A driverless car is hacked so that it has an accident leading to economic/physical harm</li></li></ul><li>Liability models<br />Negligence (proof of fault? Contractual exclusions a la consumer software? “Shrink wraps”? US?EU legal differences – Jp/Asia?) What is effect of learning/adaptation?<br />Product liability = Strict liability for manufacturer if defect => damage. US/EU differences. (Asia?) EC Directive<br />state of art defense<br /> does not apply to software (? “moveables which have ben industrially produced” + electricity) – “embedded”?<br />that the defect causing the damage came into being after the product was put into circulation (learning)<br />Joint responsibility with subsequent user is possible<br />What if eg robot car is hacked? Clearly possible at present<br />Some Civil Codes may see them as “inherently dangerous products” (Boscarato, 2011)<br />
    23. 23. Liability models - 2<br />Animals :cf PARO, AIBO; Boscarato , 2011 ; robots = locomotive, some autonomy. Eg Roombas.= tripping person up. Liability of custodian (user, or owner – not necc the same)(art 2051, 2 Italian CC). Not strict liability eg act of child clambering on to it might elide liability.<br />Issues – v different across many legal systems?<br />Eg Are robots tame or wild??<br />OK for Roombas but driverless cars? Sexbots?<br />Children?! Boscarato. VERY divergent civil/common law traditions etc. Eg Scots law , no automatic resp of parent for ch’sdelicts. Robots have no ability to reach “maturity”?<br />
    24. 24. Liability models - 3<br />Contract: Allocate liability by contract.<br />Issues of divergent treatment of exclusion clauses<br />The “small print” and “shrink wrap” problems<br />Imbalance of power consumer/manufacturer.<br />Causation issue re learning can be avoided by explicit clauses<br />Is software the place to look for models??<br />*Industry and other codes eg BSI, OSI, medical tech, health and safety<br />An insurance market.<br />Cf cars – likely to arise for driverless cars anyway, but other robot classes?<br />Establishing risks; who pays? Compulsory insurance of owner?<br />We don’t require for dishwashers – or pets!<br />Is any consistent model desirable?<br />
    25. 25. A few thoughts<br />Is there value to considering robots as a special and cognate category for liability? Not clear.<br />Cf privacy – Calo identifies 3 issues that do cross many robot “types” – increased direct surveillance; access to domestic sphere; and social confusion (responding to robots as if human).<br />Any new liability rules will have to interact with existing regimes: particularly re product liability and software liability.<br />Picking analogies requires great care cf ISP liability and newsstands/publishers etc.<br />Lack of jurisdictional harmonisation will be huge issue.<br />A mature insurance market may be answer.<br />