Spare the rod and spoil the robot; your values may be at stake
Maybe you're not ready for a robot pet or companion, but they exist, and figure to become more important in the lives of humans in the years ahead.
Best of all, you can kick or hit the robots without any feelings of guilt. Or can you?
Set aside your own capability of aggression against a mechanical companion; would getting rough with a robot be akin to harming a companion animal?
Nancy Jecker, a bioethicist at the University of Washington medical school, says yes.
Jecker recently published an essay along these lines in the journal AI & Society.
We grab her for an interview, to explore her thinking about proper human behavior toward thinking machines.