A sombre story has emerged of a robot which inadvertently killed a man at a factory in Germany. This tragic incident happened during the installation of a robot which is designed and programmed to assist within the automotive construction process at the factory operated by the well-renowned company Volkswagen.
A spokesman by the name of Heiko Hillwig, not an owl from Potter, blamed “human error” which resulted in the death of the contract worker. He stated that it [robot] can be programmed to perform various tasks in the assembly process and the task with which the robot undertakes is to grab auto parts and manipulate them. Unfortunately, the robot grabbed a person and slammed him against a metal plate which must have been a horrific experience for onlookers.
German prosecutors are analysing this incident before deciding whether to file charges against any culpable individuals. This case highlights both safety procedures and also our relationship with tech; after all, a robot cannot kill anyone as yet because its actions are pre-programmed by a human. It will be compelling to see how blame is proportioned for this incident since a person lost their life to what looks to be a freak accident at the hands or arm of a robot.
On a side note, this case might set a precedent on how law defines what constitutes murder in the future, after all, as tech becomes more advanced and the level of interaction by humans becomes greater for the functionally of a real world AI, how long will it be before a person programs a robot to kill another human?
Image Courtesy of theoldrobot
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