Career Controversy: Should robots be allowed to act autonomously?

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The progress man has made in the field of technology is becoming exponentially greater. Each decade sees more progress than the century preceding it, than that century did of the millennium preceding it. As our innovation drives us towards greater results, the time at which robots may take on human-like intelligence comes ever closer. Philosophers and engineers alike have been grappling with questions related to that time for the last half-century. Yet as we march forward in this brave new world, other, much more intricate questions, such as those surrounding the ability of robots to complete tasks which require intelligence, the ability and right of robots to feel emotion, and the ethical concerns surrounding robots which are both intelligent and emotional are being brought forward. These questions are no longer questions for future generations to sort through, they must be decided, and soon. As technology rapidly improves, it is inevitable that it should begin to take on elements of its creator.

Before one can immerse themselves into the arguments surrounding artificial intelligence, it is necessary to understand artificial intelligence and the history of it to this point. Artificial intelligence is the spawn of advanced projects in the field of computer science, called “expert systems.” These systems are complex programs that do one task incredibly well, as if it were a human “expert” on the topic at hand (Graham 36). Such programs are not truly intelligent, but they possess enough programming to put on a semblance of such. A well-known example of an “expert system,” a program within “applied artificial intelligence,” is IBM’s Deep Blue, a supercomputer designed to beat Chess Grand Master Garry Kasparov (Bethell). ...

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