If a self-driving car causes an accident or a surgical robot kills a patient, whose fault is it? These are some of the questions a recent report funded by the European Union sought to answer.
Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov famously wrote about the “three laws of robotics.” Essentially, the laws state that a robot may not injure a human being, that it must obey orders given by humans and that it must protect its own existence when this doesn’t conflict with the first two laws.
Making robots answerable to malpractice is a vain exercise. A Gynaecologist who advertises he is a plastic surgeon and makes hideous mistakes his license to practice can be revoked. But a robot?
Think of all the bad surgery performed by Great Britain on her former colonies? Partition of India was one such. it was more like the Great Bungler having had run of the House it did not possess either in spirit or by common consent, just decamped when the house was all but finished. The present crisis of Syria was also another mess. Is UK or France called to account for their ineptness?
With men and nations laws must work; so must Law call to account those who set a robot to solve their problems. As soon as robots can think for themselves and change procedures to save the wear and tear of their own parts the fun really begins.