The average person who dips in and out of the news would be forgiven for thinking we’re trapped in a bad remake of an Isaac Asimov robot story. If anyone needs reminding, Asimov was the science fiction writer who came up with the “three laws of robotics” in the early 1940s. 

The laws were first proposed in a short story in his I, Robot collection, and purported to be from a “Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 AD”. They were pretty simple, which perhaps explains their longevity in the popular imagination. The actual rules that people are proposing for the governance of AI are not simple, and that might be why there’s a lot of confusion about what AI can and can’t do. ..

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