Apparently humans can be manipulated basically by anything that moves and that we don’t control. So, yeah, as soon as robots are a daily thing we are screwed, unless we build some really strong moral system into them.
“Our brains tend to be hardwired to project intent on any movement that happens in our physical space and that seems autonomous to us,” Darling said. People are aware the machine is not alive. Yet they respond to the cues these lifelike machines give them, as if they were alive.
One can imagine, for example, a home assistant interactive robot that can get people to reveal personal details they might not willingly enter into a database, Darling said.
She also cited the possible use of robots in behavior modification therapies.
The flip side is that robots could also be used to desensitize people to violence. “If people are taught to become violent toward lifelike robots, do they become desensitized to violence in other contexts?”