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Japan's new consumerbots governed by Asimov's Law

Ryan Block
May 28, 2006
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Just because Big Willy Style Smith starred in the film "adaptation" of I, Robot shouldn't speak against the clout of Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics (not to be confused with Issac Hayesimov's laws). The Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry knows this, and is putting theory (or in this case, apologue) into practice by developing robot saftey guidelines, and pushing bot-makers to start imbuing the first of the Three Laws (A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.) into the design methodology and operation of future domestic robots. How? Why, by installing sensors and systems sufficient to keep the bots from bumping into people, installing emergency shut-off switches, and making or coating said bots with materials a little softer than the usual jagged-edged steel (see Ri-Man, above). Sounds pretty obvious to us, but once we've got some Three Laws breaking bots on our hands, that's when things get interesting.

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