Boston Dynamics, an American engineering and robotics design company, released a video that unexpectedly stirred people’s emotions. It showed employees repeatedly kicking a doggie robot they named Spot. It was supposed to demonstrate the robot’s resilience and balance, but viewers saw it as downright cruel.
PETA jumped on the bandwagon by releasing a statement that said, “Most reasonable people find even the idea of such violence inappropriate.” Even Elon Musk chimed in and said that it’s probably unwise to kick a robot. He said, “Their memory is very good.”[
The video posted above sparked a lot of interesting discussion about robot abuse. Is kicking a robot like Spot desensitizing people to violence and making them more likely to practice abuse in real life? Or is it a useful outlet that may divert such cruel behavior? Nobody really knows yet.