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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Should We Root for Robot Rights?

Evan Selinger
Originally posted February 15, 2018

Here is an excerpt:

Maybe there’s a better way forward — one where machines aren’t kept firmly in their machine-only place, humans don’t get wiped out Skynet-style, and our humanity isn’t sacrificed by giving robots a better deal.

While the legal challenges ahead may seem daunting, they pose enticing puzzles for many thoughtful legal minds, who are even now diligently embracing the task. Annual conferences like We Robot — to pick but one example — bring together the best and the brightest to imagine and propose creative regulatory frameworks that would impose accountability in various contexts on designers, insurers, sellers, and owners of autonomous systems.

From the application of centuries-old concepts like “agency” to designing cutting-edge concepts for drones and robots on the battlefield, these folks are ready to explore the hard problems of machines acting with varying shades of autonomy. For the foreseeable future, these legal theories will include clear lines of legal responsibility for the humans in the loop, particularly those who abuse technology either intentionally or though carelessness.

The social impacts of our seemingly insatiable need to interact with our devices have been drawing accelerated attention for at least a decade. From the American Academy of Pediatrics creating recommendations for limiting screen time to updating etiquette and social mores for devices while dining, we are attacking these problems through both institutional and cultural channels.

The article is here.