Honda checked with Vatican on Robot Ethics

9 04 2008

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.”

http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2008/04/06/083466.html

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.

 


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2 responses

9 04 2008
curtjester

Well if they did talk to the Vatican I doubt if they really replied “God trusts humankind. There is no problem.” This is a blanket statement to do anything and something that no one in the Vatican would ever say.

Though when it comes to robot ethics the obvious line is robot-human sex and there are groups of people and even a book out promoting this.

13 04 2008
vee8

When, according to certain groups, the biggest problem on the earth is humanity itself what better way to help eradicate the problem then have useless sex with robots. Where can I vomit? I also agree that the just do it statement doesnt sound like something from the Vatican.

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