AI and the Spare Parts Dilemma


AI and the Spare Parts Dilemma

If you have already ready the article “The Birth of a Species” then you will understand how the world of AI robots have been busy duplicating themselves and building more and more robots to assist the human race, while gaining more and more knowledge and information, passed down from generation to generation.

Imagine now the situation where two AI robots come together at the school gates, both are employed by their purchasers to take their children to school.

Janice the Silverian Robotan has a shiny flashing overcase, that ensures visibility when walking down the dark country lanes. Kevin the Grenarian Robotan doesn’t. Kevin notices and through immediate internet research identifies the overcase online, safety features, and reasons to purchase, latest pricing and stock availability. Kevin doesn’t have permission to purchase on behalf of its owner. Identifying this would be a positive purchase for its ward’s safety, it emails its purchaser to request one, stating the reasons why.

Kevin’s owner receives the email and after careful consideration of the safety and cost decides that the cost is too high for the small extra safety features. He emails the robot back to say no, but should an overcase become available at a lower or free cost, then that would be fine. The self aware AI robot identified a positive safety precaution but is not able to obtain through the normal channels, and knows that picking one up cheaper is an option.

Later that night while fetching some groceries from the local store, finds what’s left of Janice laying broken in a ditch having been hit by a falling tree, and has been unable to send out an emergency call.

Kevin identifies that Janice won’t be repairable, but that the overcase is still in good repair. Should Kevin take the overcase ? Will programmers be making these kinds of decisions in the base of robots? What would be your decision making process? How much is safety and security worth?

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