The Struggle of the German Bundestag with Explaining the Robotical Facts of Life

In July 2018, the German party FDP posed several questions to the German Bundestag to get more insight about the political strategy in the field of AI and robotics and its progress (see Drucksache 19/3714). One of those was about the handling of sexbots. The reply left the question more open than answered. This does not only show the still missing awareness of the urgency to be concerned with AI and robotics. It also shows the political ignorance towards this topic. Considering the number of commercial brothels already using love dolls, this is even more bothering. In Germany, at least one such establishment exists, in other countries like Switzerland or South Korea even more. In general, you have to define, whether sexual services provided by such dolls can be seen as prostitution and if so, how to extend the concerning laws (in case, they exists). In South Korea, for example, prostitution is illegal, what makes the police facing exactly this definition problem. For a country like Germany, where one of the most detailed and latest published laws about prostitution exists, you may think, the legislatory would react. Not to mention the arising ethical questions.

China’s Brain Drain

“China’s AI talent base is growing, and then leaving” – this is what Joy Dantong Ma writes in an article with the same title. Artificial intelligence is promoted in the People’s Republic in various ways. Money is invested in technologies, institutions, and people. “China has been successful in producing AI talent, evidenced by the rapid growth of AI human capital over the last decade.” (MacroPolo, 30 July 2019) This seems to be good news for the country in the Far East. But the study to which the article refers comes to a different conclusion. While “Beijing has cultivated an army of top AI talent, well over half of that talent eventually ended up in America rather than getting hired by domestic companies and institutions”. “That’s because most of the government resources went into expanding the talent base rather than creating incentives and an environment in which they stay.” (MacroPolo, 30 July 2019) According to Joy Dantong Ma, Beijing seems to have recognized its failure in retaining talent. “The well-known New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan, released in 2017, vowed to lure top-notch AI scientists in neural network, machine learning, self-driving cars, and intelligent robotics by opening up special channels and offering up competitive compensation packages. Still, it’s not clear that Beijing will be able to reverse the Chinese AI brains from draining to its biggest competitor, the United States.” (MacroPolo, 30 July 2019) Does the USA even want the talents? That is anything but clear in these times.