Sunday, May 2, 2010

HAL: "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."

In a column written, ironically, in 2001, John Rose and Michael Huhns propose an adaptation of Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics for agents sent on a NASA mission. I reproduce the first two here:
  • Principle 1: An agent shall not harm the mission through its actions or inactions.
  • Principle 2: Except where it conflicts with Principle 1, an agent shall not harm the participants in the mission.
This essentially reproduces HAL, who was justified in killing its crew because it came to the conclusion that the crew jeopardized the mission.

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