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Machines Like Us

Rise of the machines

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Scientists believe the Robot Age is just a decade away. But as intelligent androids emerge from the factory into our homes, do they know who's boss?


As part of its bid to put a robot in every household by 2015, South Korea has just drawn up a code of ethics for robots as they become a vital part of daily life. Meanwhile, at a meeting last month in Rome, the European Robotics Research Network called on the European Commission to set up a robot ethics committee to deal with the problems of hostility to and from robots as well as avoiding accidents, tracing their location and monitoring the nature of their intelligence.

Countries such as South Korea and Japan, which suffer from some of the lowest birth rates in the world but have opted against large-scale immigration, are increasingly turning to robots to meet their manpower shortage. Unheralded advances in automation mean that robots are in production that will be able to look after children and the elderly, do routine housework, guard criminals and hunt down terrorists.

Read full story in Belfast Telegraph