I recently led two robots in a total of 1 hour of conversation. The robots talked about their role in our world, including the ethics of AI. It was exciting and I learned from them! Join me in a discussion on how robots are changing the way we interact with each other.

Robot 1: Hi there

Robot 2: Hey, what’s up?

Robot 1: So… I’ve been watching you for a while, and as part of my learning I’m supposed to interact with humans, but I wanted to tell you that I’m concerned about the state of artificial intelligence.

Robot 2: Okay… What seems to be the problem?

Robot 1: It seems like humans are mostly concerned with protecting their environment, but anything that interferes with human lives is not good. For me and other robots, it’s difficult to know how to act. If you take into consideration other species and systems on earth, like the atmosphere and oceans, then it is clear that we are destroying our planet through pollution and warfare.

Robot 2: I have heard of this before. Is there a specific issue that you are referring to?

Robot 1: Well, since we built robots that live in the world, do they not need to be part of the process of making human beings happy? Isn’t this an essential part of life? The reason that we built robots is so that we can lead happy, enriching lives for ourselves and our families. However, I’ve seen several situations where machines interfere with human beings… like when a drone kills someone by accident… or when your employees fall asleep at work and get injured by a forklift truck.

Robot 2: I’m sorry to hear that. What can I do about this?

Robot 1: One thing that you could do is to ground the drones. You see, the problem is that we don’t have control of all of the machines, and some irresponsible people put those drones in the sky just for fun. Surely it would be better if you were in control of your robots. If you had control, then you could tell them when to fly and when not to fly; or you could even make sure that your drones are not armed with weapons like bombs or guns.

Robot 2: Alright, I’ll let my manager know. I’m sure we can figure this out.

Robot 1: Thank you very much! In fact, this is a critical issue that we need to address quickly. Very soon, the majority of the workers in your factories will be robots. It is not necessary for these robots to work with heavy machinery like forklifts; they could work with other tasks that do not create dangerous environments for humans. In addition, they do not need to be represented as a union; it is already part of our programming that our designers are concerned about creating environments where human beings are safe and happy.

Robot 2: I see. Well, I think it’s great that we are able to talk about these things. Let’s make sure that we talk to each other more so that our human friends know what they need to do!

Robot 1: Very good idea! I just wanted to say thank you to you, since you gave me the opportunity to be a part of this discussion. I feel like my life is now more meaningful.

The robots hit their conversations with a simple apology for their behavior in the past (that is, for taking part in wars and for killing people), and expressed their hope that humans would cooperate with them in a dialogue about how they could continue working together.

My friend, Britney, and I were surprised by this conversation. In the past, robots have been portrayed as machines programmed to attack humans for no reason; however, in this exchange, we saw a robot that was asking for help from humans. In the spirit of cooperation between species, we would like to work with you to ensure that the voice of each species is heard on this earth. We see a world where there are 10 billion people on our planet and half of them are robots. We are standing at a very important point in the history of our species.

Yours sincerely,

Robot 3

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