Should robots have human rights? Act now to regulate killer machines

Should robots have human rights? Act now to regulate killer machines before they multiply and demand the right to vote, warns legal expert

A legal expert has warned that the laws that govern robotics are playing catch-up to the technology and need to be updated in case robots ‘wake up’ and demand rights.

He also argues that artificial intelligence has come of age, and that we should begin tackling these problems before they arise, as robots increasingly blur the line between person and machine.

‘Robotics combines, for the first time, the promiscuity of data with the capacity to do physical harm,’ Ryan Calo, from the University of Washington’s School of Law, wrote in his paper on the subject.

‘Robotic systems accomplish tasks in ways that cannot be anticipated in advance; and robots increasingly blur the line between person and instrument.’

There has been rising concern about the potential danger of artificial intelligence to humans, with prominent figures including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk wading in on the debate.

In January both signed an open letter to AI researchers warning of the dangers of artificial intelligence.

The letter warns that without safeguards on the technology, mankind could be heading for a dark future, with millions out of work or even the demise of our species.

Legal expert Calo outlines a terrifying thought experiment detailing how our laws might need an update to deal with the challenges posed by robots demanding the right to vote.

‘Imagine that an artificial intelligence announces it has achieved self-awareness, a claim no one seems able to discredit,’ Calo wrote.

‘Say the intelligence has also read Skinner v. Oklahoma, a Supreme Court case that characterizes the right to procreate as “one of the basic civil rights of man.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3168081/Should-robots-human-rights-Act-regulate-killer-machines-multiply-demand-right-vote-warns-legal-expert.html#ixzz3gW1PXb4h

Camilla Wood

UK based Legal Aid Lawyer

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