Let’s take a look at the situation of a highly advanced Humanoid robot, which can simulate emotions. At what point does the robot become human-like? At what point do we conclude that the robot has feelings? will we be forced to give robots, rights in the future? and is depriving the root of power, considered as murder? let’s find out in today’s blog post. This post is going to dive into a more philosophical note, so sit back and enjoy!
AI is all around you, everything that you do is almost certainly linked with AI. With recent improvements in Computing horsepower and the exponential increase in Data volume, Scientists and AI Researchers have been able to make increasingly powerful and highly capable machines that sound and feel human-like. You may have heard of Sophia the robot that has gained Saudi Arabian Citizenship. This robot is the pinnacle of human-like robots.
Do robots deserve rights?
Much of our philosophical understanding of rights cannot be applied to an AI as most of the fundamental concepts of rights are based on the principle of consciousness. Unfortunately, nobody knows what consciousness is exactly but all of us can feel it, we are aware of our surroundings and know what unconsciousness feels like. Neurosurgeons believe that if a computer is powerful enough, it can simulate consciousness. So now, the question arises “Do robots deserve rights?”. Well, not so fast. Would what we define as rights make sense to the robot? Our rights protect us from suffering, as human beings, we know what pain is and have experienced it at some point during our lifetime. Robots don’t feel pain and without pain or pleasure, there is no preference and rights are meaningless. Unplugging a robot from power is not considered as murder because robots are non-living things after all!
The entire human race believes in the concept of human exceptionalism (humans are the most superior being on planet earth ) we have never bothered about the feelings of other animals. Robots are our own creation and are non-living beings. They do not deserve rights as it is meaningless to them.
You may probably think what does this topic have in common with computer science? It has no direct link but an indirect one. There has been a lot of misconception about Artificial Intelligence in the past few years. People think that robots will rule us and might become a threat to humanity. Due to this misconception, many companies have stopped profuse research in the field of AI. This harms us indirectly because AI is a powerful Ally. Artificial Intelligence, if used correctly can change the world in ways that are impossible to think of, there is so much potential in AI and if we manage to use it correctly it is a game changer. This topic is a misconception in the AI field and this blog post is aiming to clear that misconception. A myth-buster you may say!
This post has heavily been inspired by the video by Kurzgesagt on YouTube: Do Robots Deserve Rights? What if Machines Become Conscious?
Most of the information and the pictures have been taken from this video! See the video for a more in-depth analysis!