“Until recently, the idea of robot rights had been left to the realms of science fiction. Perhaps that’s because the real machines surrounding us have been relatively unsophisticated. Nobody feels bad about chucking away a toaster or a remote-control toy car. Yet the arrival of social robots changes that. They display autonomous behaviour, show intent and embody familiar forms like pets or humanoids, says Darling. In other words, they act as if they are alive. It triggers our emotions, and often we can’t help it.”
After being told the patient was pregnant and allergic to penicillin, Watson suggested treating her with cefuroxine. Its human colleagues agreed. The demonstration was a success, and it is the hope of IBM and many medical professionals that Watson will one day soon lend doctors a helping hand as they perform their daily rounds.