As technology marches forward, future of robots raises ethical questions

Editor’s note: This story was produced by student reporters as part of the High School Journalism Institute, an annual collaboration among The Oregonian/OregonLive, Oregon State University and other Oregon media organizations. Read this post for more information about the training program. Cassie, a silver robot with ostrich-like legs, lives at Oregon State University and demonstrates what technology might look like in the future. Versions of the robot at Oregon State and a university spin-off company could eventually be used for delivery, military and rescue purposes. The technology developed on the Oregon State campus could shape the future, but with that technology comes the need to explore issues surrounding its existence. “There’s already all kinds of legal and ethical questions every day somewhere in the world,” said Julie Adams, associate director of the Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute. During Adams’ courses in robotics and computer science, students research ethical implications, she said. Drones, for example, can be used for hobbies but can also cause dangerous situations, she said. “Every day, somewhere in the world, if not in this country, there is a small hobby drone that is almost flying into a commercial aircraft,” she said. Airplane pilots reported about 1,800…


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