The machine made headlines around the world after the incident in Moscow
Russian chess official Sergey Smagin says a robot which broke a youngster’s finger in a mishap at a recent tournament in Moscow does not deserve to be permanently deactivated.
The unfortunate incident at the event in the Russian capital last week made headlines around the world, after the bot trapped the seven-year-old boy’s finger in its pincers when the child had been too eager to move a piece.
Onlookers were forced to yank the youngster’s digit free from the robot’s clutches, with the ordeal captured on camera.
The brave young contender played on after having a cast applied to his finger, and reportedly even attended an awards ceremony and signed documents later on.
All acquisition that advanced AI will destroy humanity is false. Not the powerful AI or breaching laws of robotics will destroy humanity, but engineers with both left hands :/
On video – a chess robot breaks a kid's finger at Moscow Chess Open today. pic.twitter.com/bIGIbHztar
— Pavel Osadchuk 👨💻💤 (@xakpc) July 21, 2022
The dystopian images prompted discussion over the safety of the chess bot, although Russian grandmaster Smagin – who is vice president of the Moscow Chess Federation – has insisted that it must not be turned into scrap.
“Thousands of children played before the incident with the robot, and a couple of hundred afterwards,” Smagin told TASS this week, discussing the scenes which had unfolded at the Moscow Chess Open.
“It was enough to follow an elementary rule – to take turns making moves. I don’t know for what reason, but the boy extended his hand during the robot’s move.
“In my memory this has never happened before. Moreover, the robot only pressed his finger, if it had not been extended, then nothing would have happened at all.”
The grandmaster added that he understood the concerns of the boy’s parents, who reportedly want to press charges.
The robot does not belong to the Moscow Chess Federation, which instead was renting it from its operators.
The Baza Telegram channel, which shared footage of the incident, reported that after the tournament the robot had been dismantled and placed on “standby” mode.
“I understand the behavior of the child’s relatives, in their place I would have done the same,” added Smagin.
“But the likelihood that this will happen again is minimal. I hope everything will be fine in the future, the demand for the robot is high.
“I don’t believe that now they will dismantle it, and what’s the point of sawing it up if you can just destroy the program?
“The robot itself is an ordinary manipulator, the whole point is in the program written for it.”
TASS also quoted Moscow Chess Federation president Sergey Lazarev as saying that the operators of the chess bot needed to reconsider its configurations.
“The parents wanted to write a statement to the prosecutor’s office,” Lazarev said.
“We want to settle peacefully, to come to an agreement.
“I don’t think the robot should be abandoned… it has been exhibited at various chess events for more than 10 years.
“But we will talk with its owners, the operators on additional protection and security measures.”