The question of granting robot rights to intelligent machines has elicited ambivalent responses from European lawmakers and members of the scientific committee following a call to grant the personality of robots.
The European Union in recent years has been somewhat of a forerunner in passing groundbreaking legislation, especially when it comes to regulating the effects of the rapid technological growth we are witnessing today. After adopting the GDPR, which, in the face of an extremely rapid spread of global interconnectivity, guarantees an individual’s right to privacy, the governing body also adopted the infamous Articles 11 and 13, relating to sharing. content on the Internet. Likewise, in another unprecedented legislative offer, the European Parliament is now considering whether to regard an artificially intelligent machine as a “person” or not. This robot rights debate – where most lawmakers are pushing to grant robot personalities and scientists are against it – is becoming increasingly relevant not only to the global tech community, but to businesses around the world. whole and the general public. The outcome of this debate can have an impact on how organizations manage and operate intelligent machines.
Why might robot rights be a good idea?
The debate on robot rights facing European lawmakers is not about granting robots basic human rights per se. The debate, at least for now, is about the legal recognition of robots and AI as a “special person” who should be granted certain rights and held accountable for their actions.
A future driven by robots
As artificially intelligent machines continue to develop human capabilities, they will replace more and more people in the global workforce. Under these circumstances, robots will be used to perform increasingly complex tasks and could become a part of our daily life. It’s not that hard to imagine, considering how AI was already part of our daily lives. So, it is only a matter of time before AI and robots replace the majority if not all of the human workforce. This can have multiple social and economic consequences for humans.
The consequences of robotization
Currently, no matter what country you live in, you are supported and protected by a government. The government needs funds to serve its subjects and ensure the well-being of all those entrusted to it. A key source of these funds is paid by the general public in the form of taxes, which represent a portion of what they earn from their jobs. With rapid robotization, people will start to lose jobs on a large scale. So the government will stop receiving funds as the workforce, or at least the human part of it, continues to shrink. Eventually, if no other source of funding is found, the government may become unable to support its people. Likewise, as large numbers of people become unemployed, they will not have enough money to spend on the things they want and need, leading to a large-scale economic downturn. .
The robot’s personality as a potential solution
To avoid a possible shortage of revenue and the consequent depreciation of the efficiency and relevance of government, the European Union had sought to address the problem protectively by mapping the rights of robots and recognizing robots as a sort of “person”. The recommendations made in the call to EU lawmakers included a number of regulations that organizations using robots and AI must adhere to. One of the rules requires companies to report the contribution of smart machines to the overall financial results of organizations, and then collect social security contributions and taxes that would be levied on a real person working in the same role accordingly. Thus, the government can have sufficient funds to support its population, even in the face of mass robotization. Regulations also require organizations to take responsibility for damage caused by robots in their possession. Regulations like these would at least help make the transition to a fully robotic world smoother than it would be without these rules.
Ultimately, robot rights aim to make humans morally obligated to robots by granting them rights analogous to human rights. However, robot rights may not be the ideal way to deal with artificial intelligence.
Why robot rights might be a bad idea
A majority of the scientific community has expressed concerns about the European Parliament’s scrutiny of the rights of robots. In fact, a group of researchers and AI experts had sent an open letter to the European Union asking them to reconsider the proposal to legalize the rights of robots.
Robots are not human
The biggest argument against providing robot rights is as simple as the fact that robots are not human. No matter how smart they can get, they can really get as complex, spontaneous, and emotional as human beings. Humans and even other animals are much more complex in biology, which is and will be difficult to reproduce even by the most advanced artificial systems. Machines are not yet capable of self-determined actions, that is, of doing things without any outside influence or instruction to do so. And the lack of self-determination can be seen as a good thing, because if robots that are excessively smarter than us but lack empathy and sensitivity are motivated by spontaneous thoughts, there is no way to guarantee that things are not going badly for us. .
For us humans, the fact that we are capable of emotion – especially negative feelings such as pain – and the fact that every human being, in the grand scheme of things, is completely unique and irreplaceable, makes us deserve three security and protection afforded by basic human rights. Robots, on the other hand, are deliberately designed by humans to be a certain way. Even the most complex artificial intelligence machines can be replicated using the same algorithms and training data. The memories of these machines can be saved and transmitted to other machines, while human memory is not transferable. If robots are to be of the same value as humans, legally or otherwise, they will have to demonstrate much more than high-speed computing and processing capabilities.
Robots are tools
Like it or not, ultimately robots are created as tools that humans can use to complete sourcing tasks. In this sense, a robot is no different from other electronic devices, such as smartphones, television, automobiles, computers, etc. While smartphones, with their AI-powered visual assistants, may appear to be smart and remotely human, they are only electronic. devices designed and created to serve a purpose. These devices don’t “feel” downtrodden when overworked, or “feel” pain in any way, like, say, your pet dog would. We are therefore justified in having rights on animals but not on robots (not yet at least).
As I have said many times before, the holy grail of AI and robotic research will always be to create a machine that is perfectly human in all its aspects. However, it is crucial that AI developers be wary of the fact that artificially intelligent machines if given enough leeway to think and act freely, it is not clear how bad things could go. However, AI and robotics are central to humanity’s foray into the future, as we explore radically new ideas, systems, and lifestyles. Creating robots imbued with the highest degree of ethics should be a matter of focus, before considering the rights of robots.