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Interview with Jerry Kaplan on new robotic technologies

These days, new robotic technologies are being rolled out in fields as diverse as healthcare, transportation, and retail. Though these wonders bring with them convenience and efficiency, they all bring about new concerns for society to consider.

Author, entrepreneur, and computer scientist Jerry Kaplan has been thinking about these issues for the last 30 years. He teaches the History and Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence at Stanford, where he is a fellow at the Center for Legal Informatics. KALW's Jen Chien spoke with him recently about "carebots", and other new advances in intelligent robotics.

JERRY KAPLAN: The main thing that the new wave of AI tech coming into common use in 10-20 years— the main effect they're going to have—is to create enormous new wealth. So this is in my view a positive thing. How can that be bad? Well, it can be bad if that new wealth is not distributed in a way that is equitable and that serves the needs of all the people in society.

Click the audio player above to listen to the full interview.

This interview originally aired on December 9, 2014.

Jen Chien was the managing editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News from 2016 to 2018. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.