Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Soon Robots Will Have More Rights Than Humans

Published on January 4, 2016 by   ·   1 Comment


Jake Anderson

First, let me define my terms. When I use the word ‘robot,’ I am not referring only to automated machines or cybernetic androids. For the purposes of this article, ‘robot’ will refer to any artificially created entity or interface that is endowed with a high level of sentience and intelligence. A great example of this in popular culture is the operating system Samantha from the Spike Jonze film, Her, though this character is better utilized as a lens through which to assess the emotional dimensions of artificial intelligence.

By invoking robots, I am primarily referring to artificial intelligence. To be sure, artificial intelligence already exists. It just doesn’t look like what science fiction prognosticators of previous decades originally envisioned. Anytime you type into the Google search bar and the field is auto-populated with suggestions, that is an example of algorithmic artificial intelligence. Anytime Siri responds to one of your absurdly facetious questions (or legitimate queries), you are witnessing an embryonic form of artificial intelligence. We take it for granted, but these are extraordinary advances that would be have seemed impossible to previous generations.

In the future, the evolution of artificial intelligence will be so dramatic and rapid that we will scarcely be able to identify the point at which strong artificial intelligence surpasses human cognition, although some would argue that has already happened. Already, innovations like IBM’s Watson are surpassing the limits of human intelligence and, in the case of a computer program called Eugene Goostman, passing the Turing Test with flying colors.

My purpose here is not to assess the evolution of artificial intelligence or even speculate on its future. For aspects of the latter, see my previous article for Anti-Media. In the current article, I want to pose and answer a specific question: will robots and artificial intelligence entities of the future have more rights than flesh and blood humans? On its face, this is a specious question, riddled with esoteric trapdoors and loopholes. For one, human rights is already an emotionally complex and legally obtuse topic. Human rights violations are rampant and even in the world’s most democratized, ostensibly benevolent societies, entire classes of humans lack basic rights, which in my opinion include healthcare, education, food, and water.

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  1. Terra Rose Terra Rose says:


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