I didn't think I would see this day in my lifetime, but I do: Japan Sets Rules for Robots:
Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is working on a new set of safety guidelines for next-generation robots. This set of regulations would constitute a first attempt at a formal version of the first of Asimov's science-fictional Laws of Robotics, or at least the portion that states that humans shall not be harmed by robots.For those who need a refresher, the first law states (and I paraphrase) that no robot shall ever harm a human, or allow by inaction for harm to come to a human. The Japanese ministry will require sensors and other security measures to ensure the safety of humans especially since they might try to create robots to help with care for the elderly.
As if that wasn't enough to get me excited, and as if my fascination with aging, or anti-aging wasn't enough, another article in Live Science - Toward Immortality: The Social Burden of Longer Lives discussed many issues that are constantly of sci-fi writers and readers' mind.
How would our lives change if we lived twice as long? the article asks and discusses marriage, family and work. The opinions on the matter differ significantly to the point that some think we shouldn't continue our quest towards extending our life span.
Cosmic Log has some interesting commentary on the matter on Immortality's pros and cons.
Naturally, I'm in the pro camp. I do think that the change would be difficult, just like any change is, and just like with anything else we should look beyond the short term effects. Already we see world-wide changes with the population becoming older. Do we say, stop medical advances? No. It is a change that we will simply have to live through to its end, then establish new standards.
Another point I always grapple with is how we could really imagine a new society. Most of us can only imagine a new society based on the one we know, ours. Can we really then imagine an immortal society based on morals of a mortal society? I believe that this is what most who are afraid of the change do.
I know, too much science fiction, but hey, it's Saturday night and we just had a surf and turf bbq, and I had some wine and I like talking about it.
Oh, yeah, and it's my blog.
Categories: science, science-fiction