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WEEK 4. Robots and Androids
Why do we need robots? let's think about it
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Our world is full of robots! They are used:
In industrial manufactories
automated robotic arms at assembly lines
At home
robotic vacuum cleaners
In the service industry
robots in hotels delivering luggage to rooms etc.
In elder and hospice care
robot caregivers helping elderly people feel connected
As vehicles
self-driving cars
In the police force
Tilda Publishing
New ethical problems
If a human is killed by a robot, whose fault is this: the engineer's, the robot's or the victim's?
Can robots love humans? Can humans love robots?
Do androids need citizenship and civil rights?
e.g. Saudi Arabia is the first country to grant citizenship to robots
Can robots join a faith?
Saudi Arabia's Sophia might convert to Islam!
Do robots have souls?
Tool/toy ambiguity: they are industrial tools, but they are also able to take care of children
Robots as parent figures, companions, lovers and friends
Robots are the metaphors for labor and power, as well as an allegory for humanity
The use of robots in anime gives us powerful devices for talking about the human without talking about the human
What does it mean for a robot to care for human beings, nurture and love them?
They are the mirrors of our meanings and values
They are also a parable for ethical challenges such as coming of age
Alpha from "Yokohama Kaidashi Kiko" reminds us that the answer to these questions doesn't really matter in the end. In her world, robots and people are more or less the same, and their feelings are the same, too. Therefore, there are no grounds for discrimination.

Now get out of your chair and do some robotic moves! See you later!
Now get out of your chair and do some robotic moves! See you later!
Just as they will change healthcare, manufacturing, and the military, robots have the potential to produce big changes in policing. We can expect that at least some robots used by the police in the future will be artificially intelligent machines capable of using legitimate coercive force against human beings. Police robots may decrease dangers to police officers by removing them from potentially volatile situations. Those suspected of crimes may also risk less injury if robots can assist the police in conducting safer detentions, arrests, and searches. At the same time, however, the use of robots introduces new questions about how the law and democratic norms should guide policing decisions—questions which have yet to be addressed in any systematic way. How we design, regulate, or even prohibit some uses of police robots requires a regulatory agenda now to address foreseeable problems of the future
Joh, Elizabeth E. Policing police robots. UCLA L. Rev. Discourse 64 (2016): 516
As an apparent coup d'etat ripples through Saudi Arabia, the rising ruling faction is trying to keep things upbeat by sending bullish signals to the world's mega-rich. Exhibit A is Neom, part of the kingdom's Vision 2030 initiative, a proposed utopian city whose modest slogan is "the world's most ambitious project." Neom imagines itself a swinging, sort-of-liberal international trade center, built from scratch, at a cost of five hundred billion dollars, on the shores of the Red Sea. According to its official Web site, Neom will be an "aspirational society that heralds the future of human civilization," which means, of course, that it will be operated and inhabited by armies of artificially intelligent bots. As part of the rollout for Neom, the Saudis have just granted official state citizenship—a first for planet Earth—to one such machine, named Sophia Robot
Avi Steinberg. Can a Robot Join the Faith? the new yorker. 2017
Saudi Arabia became the first country to grant citizenship to a robot. But it isn't the only Middle East country making strides in AI.
Suparna Dutt D'Cunha. Oil-Rich Middle East Edging Into AI To Future-Proof Its Economy. forbes, 2018
WHEN GIULIO DI Sturco takes a portrait, he tries to capture the essence of his subject—what some might call their soul. But that was impossible with his latest subject, Sophia: She doesn't have one
Hiroshi Ishi­guro builds androids. Beautiful, realistic, uncannily convincing human replicas. Academically, he is using them to understand the mechanics of person-to-person interaction. But his true quest is to untangle the ineffable nature of connection itself
Alex Mar. love in the time of robots. Wired, 2017
As the use of autonomous machines increases in society, so too has the chance of robot-related fatalities
Ian Tucker. Death by robot: the new mechanised danger in our changing world. the guardian, 2018
This bot features iRobot's best vacuuming tech, but at less than half the price
TOKYO — Paro the furry seal cries softly while an elderly woman pets it. Pepper, a humanoid, waves while leading a group of senior citizens in exercises. The upright Tree guides a disabled man taking shaky steps, saying in a gentle feminine voice, "right, left, well done!"
reuters. Aging Japan: Robots May Have Role in Future of Elder Care. voanews, 2018
The robots are coming—but they aren't here just yet. There are only three robots per 10,000 employees in India, according to the 2017 World Robot Statistics (pdf) reportissued by non-profit International Federation of Robotics (IFR) on Feb. 07. By comparison, the average robot density in the world was 74 in 2016
Ananya Bhattacharya. What robots? India's still far from being an automation nation. quartz india, 2018
Tomorrow's support-bots will help old folks stay mentally and socially engaged
Andrew Tarantola. Robot caregivers are saving the elderly from lives of loneliness. engadget, 2017
The Henn na – or Weird Hotel – has opened in Japan where guests check in with robots which also deliver their luggage to rooms
Associated Press. Japan's robot hotel: a dinosaur at reception, a machine for room service. the guardian, 2015