Robot kills co-worker in a car factory in India

A robot working in a factory of a car manufacturing plant in India has killed a co-worker after he tried to fix a minor error in the work process.

The incident occurred on Wednesday when the factory worker had gone around the robot to adjust a metal plate that the robot was handling at that particular time.

Media reports from India are giving two different versions of how the man was killed.

A report in the Times of India quoting a co-worker says the man was killed after welding sticks attached to the robot pierced 24-year-old Ramji Lal.

Another report by India TV quoting a police source points out that the man died of electric shock when he went too close to the robot.

The man was one of the 63 workers who were deployed along with 34 robots working in the plant at the time of the accident.

Worker associations have already started blaming the factory for lack of safety features, resulting in the accident.

The incident has occurred even as several leading scientists and industrialists have called upon responsible use of robotic technology, especially the use of artificial intelligence in weaponry.

Over 1,000 scientists and robotic experts including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Noam Chomsky and Steven Wozniak have called for a ban on robots that have the ability to kill, especially offensive autonomous weapons.

Under an initiative by the Future of Life Institute, the petition has called for an end to machines and robots that can kill without the involvement of human decision making.

“Autonomous weapons select and engage targets without human intervention…. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is — practically if not legally — feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: Autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms,” the petition argues.

The signatories state that while Artificial Intelligence has great potential to benefit humanity in many ways, and that the goal of the field should be to do so.

Homepage image via Shutterstock

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