Is it possible to code moral? A call for students with interdisciplinary skills and knowledge.
The Robotic Moment
We are in the midst of ‘the robotic moment’ as it has been coined by researchers working with robotics. It is a revolution towards a society where artificial agents will engage with us on multiple societal levels.
Robots will carry us through traffic. They will care for us in nursing homes. They will perform crucial diagnosis in hospitals. And they will decide if you are eligible for a loan.
The implications of the robotic revolution are immense. One critical aspect that calls for consideration is that of moral.
Robots will begin to make moral decisions that were previously ours to make. A typical example would be autonomous cars choosing to drive down elderly people instead of children. How do we avoid the systematically discrimination of elderly people?
Giving robots the responsibility over moral decisions raises a series of intricate questions. How will it affect a society’s sociability when we are no longer held accountable for immoral actions? Will it be citizens against large corporations if accidents occur? And is it even possible to code moral into algorithms?
“One of the crucial things that differentiates us from other animals is our culture about keeping each other responsible for our actions. Moral algorithms deprives us of that culture, and it reduces our humanity” – Raffaele Rodogno, researcher at Aarhus University
As a student
It is a widespread fear that robots will cause mass unemployment, even in academic fields. However, this is a good example of an incremental area that will require students who are able to apply their academic proficiencies in an interdisciplinary environment.
The moral questions of robotics is just a tiny fraction of the future job market, but it calls for a great deal of anthropologists, sociologists, jurists, engineers and other professionals.
In Digi-Talks, as students, we share the concerns about our applicability in the future job market, but we are equally certain that our competences and knowledge will be needed. An important difference from earlier in history is that it’s harder to rely solely on your education.
How to qualify yourself
Our advice is to broaden your interests into other fields. Personally, we strive to expand our knowledge by reading into subjects such as AI, Blockchain, Digital consulting and Ethics. In this way, we discover new ways to apply our academic skills.
We want to share that opportunity with you.
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Sources: The robot revolution: who holds responsibility? & Integrative Social Robotics—A New Framework for Culturally Sustainable Technology Solutions