September 2016 – In the News

Official Guidance Issued On Robot Ethics

Isaac Asimov gave us the basic rules of good robot behaviour: don’t harm humans, obey orders and protect yourself. Now the British Standards Institute has issued a more official version aimed at helping designers create ethically sound robots.

The document, BS8611 Robots and robotic devices, is written in the dry language of a health and safety manual, but the undesirable scenarios it highlights could be taken directly from fiction. Robot deception, robot addiction and the possibility of self-learning systems exceeding their remits are all noted as hazards that manufacturers should consider.

Welcoming the guidelines at the Social Robotics and AI conference in Oxford, Alan Winfield, a professor of robotics at the University of the West of England, said they represented “the first step towards embedding ethical values into robotics and AI”.

To Continue reading on theGuardian Website, Click HERE


Fire Drill Knocks ING Bank’s Data Centre Offline

A fire extinguisher test in a bank’s data centre has gone wrong in an “unprecedented” manner, causing its cash machines, online banking operations and website to go offline.

For much of Saturday, ING’s Romanian customers could not access their money.

The bank said the discharge of its gas-based fire suppression system had caused”unexpected” damage to its computer servers.

A report by Motherboard suggests that the equipment was too noisy.

A spokeswoman for ING was unable to confirm this detail.

To Continue reading on the BBC Website, Click HERE


Volvo And Uber Accelerate Work On Driverless Cars In $300m Tie-Up?

The race to be first in self-driving cars has shifted up a gear after Volvo and Uber announced they were joining forces to develop autonomous vehicles.

The Swedish manufacturer and app-based ride-sharing company are together investing $300m in a project to develop “base vehicles” that will be built by Volvo and then purchased by Uber.

Each company will then fit these vehicles with their own self-driving technology to produce a road going car.

Competition to build the first fully self-driving car is intense. On Tuesday, Ford pledged to develop autonomous cars without steering wheels or pedals and have them on the roads within five years, adding that they would first be used for ride-sharing.

To Continue reading on the Telegraph Website, Click HERE

HSE Fines UK Distillery After Blaze That Seriously Injured Worker

A distillery in Oldbury has been fined after an employee was engulfed in flames in a fire that destroyed the warehouse and its contents. Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how ethyl acetate, a highly flammable liquid, was being transferred from a bulk storage tank into an intermediate bulk container when an employee was engulfed in flames and sustained 20% burns to his head, neck and hands.

The fire, at the Alcohol Limited distillery on Crosswell road in Oldbury, destroyed the warehouse and caused damage to nearby cars and houses. West Mercia Fire and Rescue Service were called to bring the fire under control.

To Continue reading on the Hazard on the Net Website, Click HERE


Harmony of the Seas accident: One dead, four hurt in lifeboat crash

One crew member has died and four others have been injured in an accident on the Harmony of the Seas, the world’s biggest cruise ship.

The 42-year-old Filipino crew member died when a lifeboat, with five crew, became detached from the fifth deck during a safety exercise.

It fell 10m (33ft) into the water. Two crew members are in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The accident happened during a stopover in Marseille.

The injured crew members included three other Filipinos and an Indian man, AFP reports.

To Continue reading on the BBC Website, Click HERE

EU Aviation Groups Want All Drones To Be Registered

A string of aviation associations has called for all small drones in Europe to be registered.

The ability to trace nuisance drones back to their owner or pilot would improve compliance with regulations, the groups said in a joint statement.

Near-misses involving drones and aircraft are on the rise – 10 UK cases risked collision this year, according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

US users must already register drones weighing more than half a pound (228g).

A total of 10 associations in the EU have made the call, including the European Cockpit Association and the International Air Transport Association.

To Continue reading on the BBC Website, Click HERE


Tourists Stranded Overnight In French Alps Cable Car Terror

A rescue operation has resumed to free tourists who spent the night trapped in cable cars suspended above the French Alps.

Efforts to save the group were halted last night when conditions became too dangerous for rescue helicopters.

110 tourists became stuck on the 35-minute 5km cable car trip over the Vallée Blanche at 5.25pm yesterday.

Rescue efforts saw 65 people freed before night fell. The remainder, including a child aged 10, had to stay in the cabins overnight.

The journey links the Aiguille du Midi, a 3842 metre peak above Chamonix, France, to the Point Helbronner, a 3462 metre peak in Italy.

To Continue reading on the Standard Website, Click HERE