Back in 2007, a surgical robot’s arm broke off inside a patient’s body during a procedure for prostate cancer. The fracture was so bad that the urologists had to enlarge the wound to get the broken instrument out. The question now is, who’s responsible? The surgeon using the device, or the manufacturer?
As we’ve discussed before on io9, robot ethics is increasingly becoming a concern, particularly when the allocation of responsibility is concerned. It’s not always obvious who’s to blame when a robot breaks the law or hurts someone by accident. Depending on the situation, it could be the user, the manufacturer, or even the robot itself.