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Mixed Results on Robot Honesty
Oct 7, 2010  

We asked our readers whether they think laws are needed to stop robots and computers from lying, and the results are decidedly mixed.

Would it ever be acceptable for a robot or a computer program to deliberately deceive a human being?

That’s the question posed in this article, and it was the subject of a recently concluded IEET reader poll. But the answers we received were anything but conclusive.

Just over 1/4 of respondents said, yes, making a law like that would be a good idea. Slightly more, about 31%, said that while it might be a good idea, good luck in trying to enforce it.

Of those opposing the concept, 21% said it’s a bad idea because there could be cases where computer or robot dishonesty would be useful, and 15% are simply opposed to more regulations, period. Finally, 7% can’t make up their mind.

Do we need a law making it illegal for computers and robots to deceive or be dishonest?



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