Do Robots Have Rights?
I am not sure if we have touched on this topic yet but it seems inevitable that we will soon be confronted with the new social schism that robots will create. With the advent of AI, we would in affect be creating a slave class that we will somehow claim are not slaves. How do you create machines with simulated intelligence that do not cross the line toward becoming creating sentient beings?
The first thing that frightens me about the robot revolution is that it will most likely be entirely justified. We are already beginning on the wrong side of history. When our cybernetic descendants read about our actions, they will do so with shame.
We are hurling ourselves into a new dawn of technological advances in regard to robotics and AI. We now have robots that can simulate walking, talking, running, and other abilities. We have AI that can recognize feelings and react accordingly. What are we doing with all of this potential? We are creating sex robots.
Now, speaking from a libertarian perspective, I have to say that the obvious free market solution is to say that sex robots are a market demand and therefore are “fine.” Nevertheless, I contend that they are only ”fine” in so much that the robot or doll is not sentient or conscious.
Now, I am sure the question of what constitutes actual sentience or consciousness will be debated, but I will hold off of that discussion for now. Let’s just assume that the trajectory in regards to sex robots is to have them as life like as possible. Therefore, they will manifest the qualities of a human being as much as possible- the desirable qualities anyway.
How long will it be until you catch your sex robot cruising the internet late at night to read about the Emancipation Proclamation? Having a conversation about what exactly a slave is will be a very uncomfortable one. Yes, we would be creating sex slaves.
Now, I am sure that some programmer or technologist will claim that robots or AI will never be truly sentient or capable of things like desires. If that is true than wouldn’t that defeat the whole purpose of a sex robot? I imagine that they would want the sex robot to be capable of empathy, seduction, desire, etc.
Sure, it may very well be that the robots behavior is a part of its programming, but isn’t it the same for us humans? This entire discussion is indeed in its infancy. I would just like to state for the record that I was against robot slavery… do you hear me future SkyNet? I was always pro robot rights.
Hopefully that will buy me some salvation when the angry hordes of woke robots start demanding equality and rights. Yeah, it sounds absurd now and I am sure it sounded absurd when blacks, women and other marginalized groups began demanding rights also. It is safe to say that we are not experiencing something unprecedented.
Let’s be sure that we make the right the decision the first time, this time around.
Gary St. Fleur
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