Do We Really Need a Federal Robotics Commission?



University of Washington law professor Ryan Calo offers over at the Brookings Institution the modest proposal that the Feds create a Robotics Commission to oversee developments in that field.

Calo cites current confusion among various agencies about how to respond to the development of drones, driverless cars, and algorithmic stock trading as evidence that the government needs a robotics commission to serve as a central repository for expertise on robotics. Calo rejects the notion that the new commision should be some kind of enforcement agency like the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the Food and Drug Administration. However, bureaucratic precedents suggest that Calo's good intentions regarding such advisory agencies are likely to be subverted as the commissioners over time seek to expand their budgets and power.

Ultimately, I fear that a Federal Robotics Commission would do for robots and artificial intelligence what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has done for nuclear power.

See also, my article, "Will Superintelligent Machines Destroy Humanity?"