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Robots Are Hot Right Now
Dr. Robert Reuschlein, Empire and Climate Expert Dr. Robert Reuschlein, Empire and Climate Expert
Madison, WI
Thursday, December 15, 2022


Taking Robots And AI Seriously

Last month, I sent out a press release on a very important new book by Jo Ann Oravec, Good Robot, Bad Robot: Dark and Creepy Sides of Robots, Autonomous Vehicles, and AI (Springer Nature, 2022). I did not realize then how hot a topic robots and AI futures would be in just a few weeks. We have all been discussing how police robots may be soon armed to kill.  The topic of "sexbots" is becoming a regular item on TV and radio talk shows. Job losses because of robots and artificial intelligence (AI) are also looming as major concerns for the near-term future. 

We need to take robots and AI seriously, not just as isolated technical topics or science fiction themes.  Few politicians address robots and automation as important issues for public policy.  As robots, autonomous vehicles, and other AI-enhanced entities become bigger factors across the globe, we are all are being presented with questions as to what it is to be fully human in settings increasingly framed and controlled by intelligent technologies. 

So, to review, here is the description of Good Robot, Bad Robot:

There is a new book about the problematic dimensions of robots, autonomous vehicles, and artificial intelligence that will be of interest to economists and technology developers as well as consumers: Good Robot, Bad Robot: Dark and Creepy Sides of Robots, Autonomous Vehicles, and AI. It has strong theoretical underpinnings along with hundreds of recent citations to academic and trade publications.


Here's the book blurb:

This book explores how robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance human lives but also have unsettling "dark sides."  It examines expanding forms of negativity and anxiety about robots, AI, and autonomous vehicles as our human environments are reengineered for intelligent military and security systems and for optimal workplace and domestic operations. It focuses on the impacts of initiatives to make robot interactions more humanlike and less creepy (as with domestic and sex robots).  It analyzes the emerging resistances against these entities in the wake of omnipresent AI applications (such as "killer robots" and ubiquitous surveillance). It unpacks efforts by developers to have ethical and social influences on robotics and AI, and confronts the AI hype that is designed to shield the entities from criticism. The book draws from science fiction, dramaturgical, ethical, and legal literatures as well as current research agendas of corporations. Engineers, implementers, and researchers have often encountered users' fears and aggressive actions against intelligent entities, especially in the wake of deaths of humans by robots and autonomous vehicles. The book is an invaluable resource for developers and researchers in the field, as well as curious readers who want to play proactive roles in shaping future technologies.  

Here's the author:  Jo Ann Oravec (MA, MS, MBA, PhD) is a full professor in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Department of Information Technology and Supply Chain Management), as well as the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies, UW-Madison. Her publications include Virtual Individuals, Virtual Groups. She was the first chair of the Privacy Council of the State of Wisconsin. She was a visiting professor at Oxford and Cambridge.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Robert W. Reuschlein
Title: Economics Professor
Group: Real Economy Institute
Dateline: Madison, WI United States
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