Where does the word robot come from – Karel Čapek & Ethics

Where does the word robot come from - Karel Čapek & Ethics

© Wired.com

Where does the word robot come from -It’s probably a question that many have asked.

“Robots & Ethics” could be also other question.

Robots, Ethics & Karel Čapek

Robots, those kind of machines with human appearance – androids – that are so like humans demand to define and redefine our relationships to them.

So,  Ethics in practice takes into account the relationship between humankind and robots.

Should  humankind respect the human principles of dignity, mutuality and freedom regarding the robots?

Should human rights principles be extended  to the robots?

Should we see robots as conscious entities ?

How far can we go in embodying ethics in a robot?

The one who asked these questions at the beginning of the 20th century is  the Czech writer Karel Čapek.

Where does the word robot come from - Karel Čapek & Ethics - Humanizator.ro

Karel Čapek – © photo Oshlasy.info

The Name – ROBOTS

Where does the word robot come from?

The name “robots” appeared for the first time during a conversation between Čapek brothers (Karel Čapek and   Joseph,   cubist painter).

Karel was ready to write a play, RUR,  published in 1920 and he needed the name for his characters – a kind of machines with human appearance.

Joseph, painting   at a canvas, suggested him the name ROBOTS- a derivation from Czechish  noun ROBOTA  ( forced  labor).

So, the name ROBOTS appear in English language!

 Karel Čapek used the name ROBOT in his play RUR

Also with RUR (“Rossum’s Universal Robots”) Karel Čapek  expressed first ethical concerns: misusing technology will conduct to humankind dehumanization  while the  robots will  exceed humanity in the moral and intellectual dimensions.

The ideal of humanity for freedom become for robots the fight against slavery.

Also, as many other ethicists of today , Karel Čapek  drew attention to the extension of human rights to robots.

Karel Čapek   tackled  the relationship between humankind and robots which demands ethic principles- otherwise,  for the author,  robots’  revolt becomes a threat to the very existence of the    world.

Nevertheless, those who will save the world for destruction are –  in Čapek  ‘s vision- the robots which will be  a  new species: moral agents with  mental states, feelings, emotions and responsibility.

 

 

 

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