I love it when I get feedback from a blog that I've written. I appreciate the different perspectives and insights that others bring to a topic of interest. And no blog that I've written has drawn more comments than my blog, "Isaac Asimov: The 4th Law of Robotics." The section of the blog that fueled the most comments stem from a scene in the movie I, Robot where Detective Spooner (played by Will Smith) is explaining to Doctor Calvin (who is responsible for giving robots human-like behaviors) why he distrusts and hates robots. He is describing an incident where his police car crashed into another car and both cars were thrown into a cold and deep river – certain death for all occupants.
Like me, I'm sure that many of you nerds have read the book "I, Robot." "I, Robot" is the seminal book written by Isaac Asimov (actually it was a series of books, but I only read the one) that explores the moral and ethical challenges posed by a world dominated by robots. But I read that book like 50 years ago, so the movie "I, Robot" with Will Smith is actually more relevant to me today. The movie does a nice job of discussing the ethical and moral challenges associated with a society where robots play such a dominant and crucial role in everyday life. Both the book and the movie revolve around the "Three Laws of Robotics," which are: It's like the "3 Commandments" of being a robot; adhere to these three laws and everything will be just fine.
Google has received tons of gushy press for its bubble-shaped self-driving car, though it's still years from the showroom floor. But for years John Deere has been selling tractors that practically drive themselves for use on farms in America's heartland, where there are few pesky pedestrians or federal rules to get in the way. For a glimpse at the future, meet Jason Poole, a 34-year-old crop consultant from Kansas. After a long day of meetings earlier this month and driving five hours across the state to watch his little girl's softball game, he was still able to run his John Deere tractor until 2 a.m. The land is hilly on Poole's family farm, so he drives the first curved row manually to teach the layout to his tractor's guidance system and handles the turns himself.
How to ensure human autonomy over our computational "screens, scenes, and unseens." Digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri and Google Assistant can be quite helpful -- but their actual allegiance is to Amazon and Apple and Google, not to the ordinary people who use them. By introducing AI-based digital agents that truly represent and advocate for us as individuals, rather than corporate or government institutions, we can make the Web a more trustworthy and accountable place. In the 2004 film "I Robot," Will Smith's character, the enigmatic Detective Del Spooner, harbors an animosity toward the humanoid-like robots operating in his society. Over the course of the film we learn why.