Abusing robots – current positions [part 2 of 4]

Continuing the discussion regarding the abuse of robots we turn now to a recent lift research workshop conducted in Geneva, Switzerland, entitled – ‘Harming and Protecting Robots : Robotic Dinosaur Abuse’.

Kate Darling (who is a ‘research  specialist’ at MIT’s Media Lab) and Hannes Gassert (who is a ‘technology activist’ ) presented the workshop in which 4 groups were invited to ‘kill’ a selection of Pleo® robots. An axe and other implements were provided. Here is a short explanatory video.

Pleo_painUnfortunately, the video doesn’t go into much detail regarding the outcome of the experiments. But Kate Darling informs via this website that :

“After 1.5h of interaction, none of the 4 groups could kill their Pleo. Nor were they willing to kill another group’s Pleo to save their own. Once threatened that all of the Pleos would be destroyed unless someone stepped up, Ralf was finally axed. Silence.“

(Thanks to Julia Lunetta for alerting us to Darling’s research)

COMING SOON : The ‘ethics’ of robot torture