I came across this article about Honda`s early robot building, and as much as I wanted a robo butler when I was a kid I was more impressed by this statement.
“In addition to the obvious technical hurdles, the company was worried about how people would react to robots shaped like humans.
Honda officials even visited the Vatican, the center of Roman Catholic faith, for help with their ethical quandary. A company spokesperson recalls that they were told: “God trusts humankind. There is no problem.”
After 10 years, Honda unveiled its P2 robot in December 1996. It was the world’s first self-contained, bipedal humanoid robot.”
I wonder if Honda also talked with anyone else about the ethics of building humanoid robots? Actually I am surprised they sought the Vatican`s input in the first place. Too bad more companies don`t check with the Vatican first, and actually listen, when it comes to ethical questions.