Certain video makers on YouTube recently received a baffling notice from the site where it was stated that their content had been removed from YouTube because it fell in line with ‘animal cruelty.’ These video makers had one thing in common; their content featured robot combats.
Yes, that is right; robot combats — not animals with a pulsing heartbeat but rather metal and remote-controlled contraptions. Basically, creators and engineers develop robots that are capable of fighting other robots. Some robots rely on flamethrowers for melting their opponent whereas others have sharp rotating items that can be used for cutting down the opponent, and some also opt for hammers that can be used for pounding the opponent.
Such fights are quite popular in certain areas of the world and are considered a form of entertainment. However, this kind of entertainment in no way whatsoever causes any hurt to humans or animals. The only thing that is hurt is the pride of the person whose robot loses in the tournament. YouTube stated that such fights resemble too much to animal suffering where animals are made to fight with one another for making quick money such as fighting cocks or dogs.
We are not arguing that such animal cruelty should not be displayed on YouTube or on any other platform for that matter, but animal fighting and robots fighting are two completely different things. The robots don’t have any feelings, nerve endings, or emotions. The notice by YouTube led to quite a confusion followed by anger. A lot of people rely on these videos and events for generating income and for sharing amazing engineering feats.
YouTube was quick to realize its mistakes and re-uploaded the videos online while issuing apologies to all those who were affected. It is unclear if an algorithm was used by YouTube that jumped to the conclusion or if a person was behind this decision. Nonetheless, we are certain that as soon as robotics and AI come together for creating robots that can feel, such videos will fall under the category of ‘robot abuse.’