Delegation, Relinquishment and Responsibility: The Prospect of Expert Robots
26 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2013 Last revised: 27 Apr 2018
Date Written: March 17, 2013
This article interrogates the relationship between humans and machine systems in a co-robotic society, where expert robots are capable of performing a multitude of tasks traditionally delegated to human experts. The authors begin by describing IBM’s “Watson”, said to be “transforming healthcare” in oncology diagnosis and treatment. They argue that intelligent machines systems such as this place us on the precipice of having to decide whether to relinquish decision-making control to machines. They then investigate when a robot might be considered an expert and examine the effect of expert robots on the question of relinquishing control of expert decision-making to machine systems. They go on to set out two scenarios in which humans will be working alongside robots and consider what might happen when disagreements between human and robot experts might arise. Finally, the authors question how we might assign liability when an expert robot malfunctions.
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