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Google Tackles Challenge of How to Build an Honest Robot

  • Seemingly small mistakes now could be bigger in the future
  • Google researchers join with OpenAI, Stanford, Berkeley
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Photographer: Oliver Burston/Getty Images

Google can see a future where robots help us unload the dishwasher and sweep the floor. The challenge is making sure they don’t inadvertently knock over a vase --- or worse -- while doing so.

Researchers at Alphabet Inc. unit Google, along with collaborators at Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, and OpenAI -- an artificial intelligence development company backed by Elon Musk -- have some ideas about how to design robot minds that won’t lead to undesirable consequences for the people they serve. They published a technical paper Tuesday outlining their thinking.