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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #1

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Do Robots Deserve Rights and Ethics?


Should robots become our personal slaves for domestic, commercial and other unspeakable uses? Personally I think it would be quite cool to have a robot valet, or perhaps a maid...

Should robots have their own rights or should they be seen as inanimate objects? How about if they form some sort of intelligence? How should we treat intelligent robots? Does their artificial intelligence deserve the same recognition as human consciousness or is it different?

Might there be a revelation in the future in the same way as the slave trade or will robots always remain as 'other' lifeforms?

Personally I can't wait for robots to come into the home and work as my personal slaves, I could just sit and read whilst one tidies the house, cooks the dinner and fetches me a cup of tea.

Perhaps we might face a darker future though? If a robot were able to develop sufficient intelligence what would its reaction be to having its power turned off? If it protests would that be a sign of intelligence?

What if it didn't protest and decided that violence was the answer?

I hear development of robotic soldiers has been called into question.

Robots have come on remarkably quickly, check the robot mule:



I'm going to call my new maid Sally and she's going to have brown hair and one of those French uniforms... My retirement will be great!

Click the image to open in full size.

~EoR
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:27 PM   #2

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Who needs robots when you have immigrants?
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:30 PM   #3

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The robots will follow the three laws.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:34 PM   #4

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What happens when I, Robot meets Rise of the Planet of the Apes? Who wins, robots or apes?
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:36 PM   #5

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Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
What happens when I, Robot meets Rise of the Planet of the Apes? Who wins, robots or apes?
Humans
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:39 PM   #6

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Humans
Unless the humans in question are Zulus.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #7

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I thought that this was a somewhat valid question and am suprised the thread jumped the shark so quickly.

To the original question, no, I do not believe that any inanimate object should be granted any form of rights. Second, with Naomasa's dead-on comment about immigrants, there will not be any proliferation of personal robots anytime soon. The immigrant option is too cost effective by comparison.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:47 PM   #8

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To the original question, no, I do not believe that any inanimate object should be granted any form of rights. Second, with Naomasa's dead-on comment about immigrants, there will not be any proliferation of personal robots anytime soon. The immigrant option is too cost effective by comparison.
Totally agree on both points.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:55 PM   #9

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Sorry, I found it a little hard to take seriously with the robot maid at the end. I'll behave.

To go back to the OP, I suppose it boils down to this - firstly, is the appearance of intelligence different to actual intelligence. If a computer is programmed in such a way that it mimicks intelligence perfectly, is it therefore intelligent? Or is it merely following a set of predetermined responses, that can be calculated to the Nth degree.

Asimov answered that question by his description of how the positronic brain functioned, on potential values and included a factor of uncertainty, meaning that the robot brain could not be fully calculated, although it could still be manipulated into specific responses by someone familiar enough with it. But arguably, this could apply to the human brain as well. Hell, internet trolls do this all the time.

I don't know whether artificial intelligences deserve rights or not. But I suspect that if we create something that is capable of feeling or simulating resentment or hatred, then we better darn well give them rights.

Here's another question. Modern robots do not generally have a humanoid appearance. Would we be more inclined to give an intelligence rights if it looks human?

There's one thing that I think Asimov got absolutely spot on in his short "robot-as-menace" story "That Thou Art Mindful Of Him". People are more inclined to be frightened of human shaped robots once they become TOO human looking, unless they are perfectly capable of simulating human emotion. Michael Fassbander's David ("Prometheus") would never be accepted because although he looks human, he lacks anything to make people around him empathise, and anyone interacting with him would find him too creepy.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:57 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
Sorry, I found it a little hard to take seriously with the robot maid at the end. I'll behave.

To go back to the OP, I suppose it boils down to this - firstly, is the appearance of intelligence different to actual intelligence. If a computer is programmed in such a way that it mimicks intelligence perfectly, is it therefore intelligent? Or is it merely following a set of predetermined responses, that can be calculated to the Nth degree.

Asimov answered that question by his description of how the positronic brain functioned, on potential values and included a factor of uncertainty, meaning that the robot brain could not be fully calculated, although it could still be manipulated into specific responses by someone familiar enough with it. But arguably, this could apply to the human brain as well. Hell, internet trolls do this all the time.

I don't know whether artificial intelligences deserve rights or not. But I suspect that if we create something that is capable of feeling or simulating resentment, then we better darn well give them rights.

Here's another question. Modern robets do not generally have a humanoid appearance. Would we be more inclined to give an intelligence rights if it looks human?

There's one thing that I think Asimov got absolutely spot on in his short "robot-as-menace" story "That Thou Art Mindful Of Him". People are more inclined to be frightened of human shaped robots once they become TOO human looking, unless they are perfectly capable of simulating human emotion. Michael Fassbander's David ("Prometheus") would never be accepted because although he looks human, he lacks anything to make people around him empathise, and anyone interacting with him would find him too creepy.
The Chinese Room Argument (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
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