UK Launches Robotics And Artificial Intelligence Inquiry: Worried About Robots Taking Over The World?

26 March 2016, 6:31 am EDT By Deepthi B Tech Times
The UK Government has launched an inquiry into the robotics and artificial intelligence segment, to evaluate its rising influence and impact on society.   ( Joi Ito | Flickr )

The UK Government has initiated an inquiry into Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), given its rising influence and daunting advancement in technology. They intend to determine what impact the rise of AI will have at a holistic level on the workforce and the society in general. Further, the corresponding social, legal and ethical aspects also need to be scrutinized.

This inquiry will be carried out by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. The inquiry was particularly launched, given the astounding turn of events that robots are winning over humans in complex games such as "Go". Google's DeepMind AlphaGo AI beat South Korean Go champion Lee Sedol in a series of matches.

In acknowledgement of robots beating humans in games such as "Go" known for its complexity, Nicola Blackwood MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, said that going forward Artificial Intelligence would be playing an increasing role in our lives.

From navigation systems to medical treatments and from new manufacturing techniques to unmanned vehicles, new applications are rapidly being developed that involve robotic decision making.

"It is important that the UK is ready with the research, innovation and skills to be able to fully take advantage of the opportunities and manage any risks. The global market for the AI sector is expected to grow to $2-6 trillion by 2025," she further added.

Taking these factors into account, the Committee is therefore accepting written submissions on robotics and artificial intelligence by April 29, 2016, on issues that surround the following key areas:

-The implications of robotics and artificial intelligence on the future UK workforce and job market, and the government's preparation for the shift in the UK skills base and training that this may require.

-The extent to which social and economic opportunities provided by emerging autonomous systems and artificial intelligence technologies are being exploited to deliver benefits to the UK.

-The extent to which the funding, research and innovation landscape facilitates the UK maintaining a position at the forefront of these technologies, and what measures the government should take to assist further in these areas.

-The social, legal and ethical issues raised by developments in robotics and artificial intelligence technologies, and how they should be addressed.                                                         

Photo: Joi Ito | Flickr

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