Ryan Calo, assistant professor of law at the University of Washington (and one of Business Insider’s most important people in robotics), believes that robotic technology is advancing so rapidly with such heavyweight implications that the current structure of the US government will be ill-equipped to handle it, reports The Atlantic.
Speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival, he called for the creation of a new governmental agency that would oversee the safe development and maintenance of new robotic applications.
This has happened in the past for other breakthrough technologies — just consider the FCC for radio, the FAA for aircraft, the FDA for various foods and drugs. The list goes on, but it currently leaves robots unaddressed. If the U.S. won’t do it for safety reasons, Calo argues we should do it for innovation reasons: “Other countries are getting serious about robotics policy. If we don’t, this will be the first form of technology since steam where America did not have a leading role.”
Robotics is certainly a growing industry in the U.S. Most notably, Google bought Boston Dynamics, the company that made a bunch of robots for the U.S. military that are designed to carry equipment across harsh terrain.