Robots are getting smarter all the time. Some scientists think it is only a matter of time before they can "think" for themselves. Should we be prepared consider how we treat robot behaviour and ask who is responsible for a robot?
Already in Singapore and Japan there are domestic servant robots being built. And in Iraq, US forces have used human influenced, but otherwise independent robots as miniature flying warplanes.
Some scientists are now asking whether we should consider:
- who is responsible for the actions of a robot?
- will humans have responsibilities regarding the welfare of robots?
- will robots become so clever that we should treat them as people, not machines?
Answers to these questions depend in part upon knowing whether it is even possible for a robot to be conscious and aware of its own actions. This is a very much harder question than it sounds, but great fun to play with.