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Motorola Adopting 3 Laws of Robotics For Android? 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-killing-humans dept.
jfruhlinger writes "Android's popularity is growing, but its lack of enterprise security features is making IT departments pull their hair out. Two of the biggest Android vendors, Motorola and Samsung, aren't waiting for Google, but are building their own security functionality into the devices they sell. Motorola's version will be facilitated by their purchase of 3LM, an Android-centric mobile security provider that bases their strategy on Asimov's Three Laws or Robotics, though the order is tweaked: The device must protect the user, protect itself, and obey the user, in that order."
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Motorola Adopting 3 Laws of Robotics For Android?

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  • by davecb (6526) <> on Monday February 14, 2011 @06:22PM (#35204514) Homepage Journal

    ... to allow for an interesting development of a series of stories that culminate in unexpected consequences. have a read, and then ask yourself what the bugs are in the restatement.

    Hint: the bug is now the highest priority.


  • Wrong order. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheCarp (96830) < minus poet> on Monday February 14, 2011 @06:26PM (#35204550) Homepage

    I love my Android but, its no surprise that the maker would prioritize protection above obedience. I would change the order:
    1. Obey the authorized user (esp since he is normally the OWNER)
    2. Protect the authorized user.
    3. Protect itself.

    Different orders can be considered when they become self aware. Until then, its a tool damnit. My hammer doesn't try to protect me, nor would I want it to. A safety on a gun may "protect me" but, the device definitely obeys before protects, because all the user needs to do is turn off the safety, and all protection is gone.

    As the user/owner of a non-self aware device, it should obey me, even if my intention is to use it to destroy itself, or others.

  • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Monday February 14, 2011 @06:33PM (#35204604) Journal

    The 'peoples' phone: RIP. 2011

    Yup. I though the same thing as soon as I saw "protect itself, and obey the user, in that order"; I'm assuming that rooting, tethering and other unauthorised usage are going to to feature on the list of things that the phone needs to 'protect itself' from. The fact that Motorola, the guys behind that whole 'eFuse' piece of crap, are involved pretty much seals the deal.

  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Monday February 14, 2011 @06:35PM (#35204624) Journal
    Protect the user,"Ok, you can't do drugs, avoid paying car insurance, speed in your car, or bring a diet pepsi on a plane"
    Protect itself: Self explanitory
    Obey the user except when the user wants to do something that can cause harm to the user.
  • Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vadim_t (324782) on Monday February 14, 2011 @06:37PM (#35204646) Homepage

    Everybody remembers the famous 3 Laws of Robotics.

    Nobody seems to remember that the stories were about how they failed over and over due to unintended consequences and and loopholes, for example robots are able to break them if they don't know they're doing so.

  • Not so (Score:4, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Monday February 14, 2011 @11:05PM (#35206346)

    The laws are not "intentionally wrong". In fact, as Asimov himself pointed out, the three laws are basically common sense for any tool. It should have safeguards to protect the user, it should accomplish what the user wants, and it should be durable. Most machinery has interlocks (first law), can be tinkered with (second law), and shouldn't smash itself to bits unless the user screws up (third law).

    In fact, the laws are so reasonable and obvious that they needed to be twisted into bizarre contortions (e.g. Runaround), flat out ignored (e.g. Little Lost Robot), or overridden with the Zeroeth Law , in order to achieve most of Asimov's best stories.

  • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Monday February 14, 2011 @11:16PM (#35206426) Journal

    I hate to bust your bubble, but saying "1. Obey the authorized user (esp since he is normally the OWNER)" is wrong for security. This is about security.

    Rather that the "you cannot do that" security paradigm how about trying a new one: "the easiest way to do something should be a secure way to do it"? The problem with the "you cannot do that" paradigm is that invariably you can actually do it with enough hacking, which is rarely secure, and once that happens the method to do it spreads because lots of people want it.

Put your Nose to the Grindstone! -- Amalgamated Plastic Surgeons and Toolmakers, Ltd.