In an age when artificial intelligence is expanding across all realms of human activity, stories of malfunctioning robots do give a chill up our spines. That may be owing to popular science fiction narratives about earth-invading villainous machines which can think and reason like humans. But recently a robot broke a child’s finger and stirred up tensions.
Robot Gone Rogue?
During the Moscow Open Chess tournament last week, a chess-playing robot grabbed the finger of his opponent, a 7-year-old boy, and fractured it. According to Sergey Lazarev, vice president of the Moscow Chess Federation, the boy had tried to rush the robot on 19th July. The robot apparently did not like the hurry.
The child, Christopher, who is one of the top 30 youngest chess players in Russia, did not give the robot its stipulated time to respond. A video published by the Russian media channel ‘Baza’, shows the robot reaching for the child’s hand across the chessboard and holding it tightly, after which two men come hurriedly to wrench the child’s hand free from the robot’s grasp.
“The people around rushed to help and pulled out the finger of the young player, but the fracture could not be avoided.”
Sergey Smagin, vice president of the Russian Chess Federation, said that the youngster did not sustain a major injury. “The boy is all right. They put a plaster cast on the finger to heal faster,” he said. The child continued the match the next day and finished the tournament, while volunteers helped to record the moves.
Reasons And The Near Future
Lazarev said that the robot was rented by them for the chess tournament. Apparently, it had been exhibited at many venues by specialists for a long time. But the operators had overlooked some flaws, thereby allowing scope for such a mishap to occur. “A robot broke a child’s finger — this is, of course, bad,” he said.
Lazarev extended reassurance to prevent dangerous incidents as such in the future. “We will coordinate to understand what happened and try to help (the family) in any way we can. And the robot’s operators, apparently, will have to think about strengthening protection so that such a situation does not happen again.”
With rapid technological advancement, the robotic race is intermingling with humans in every way possible. Many robots have made beneficial contributions to our society, like robot dogs and robot vacuums.
But hints of negative instances also rise. Recently, a Google engineer lost his job for claiming that the company’s AI technology LaMDA has a consciousness. So buckle up as we are heading with lightning speed into a future filled with thinking and reasoning robots.
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked
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