It’s true, of course, and not just from a Sci-Fi point of view. With robots doing everything from vacuuming our floors to storing our data to performing surgery, there is a growing need for an international body to establish standards. If, as British robotics professor Noel Sharkey says, “decisions about [robots’] application will be left to the military, industry and busy parents,” we run a risk of enabling very risky behavior among robots, indeed.
Who makes the decision of when a surgery is too complicated to be remote-operated? Will robot nannies (don’t laugh, believe me they’re on their way) have a minimum age with which they can interact? How will combat robots be accountable for causing civilian deaths? These are questions which seem fanciful now, but in 10 years you’ll be wondering why we didn’t ask them 10 years ago.