TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Robots Will Get Same Rights as Humans

Re: Robots Will Get Same Rights as Humans

mc (
Sun, 24 Dec 2006 10:24:09 -0500

Harumph. As an artificial intelligence researcher, I don't think
robots are any closer to humanlike consciousness than they were 50
years ago.

Note that the study was done by management and public opinion
consultants, not AI scientists.

What fundamental breakthrough do these people think is on the horizon?
"The achievement of artificial intelligence"? That's newspaperspeak,
not anything you ever actually hear in the AI research community. And
it seems to be based on 1950s science(-fiction), the notion that there
is a single, one-dimensional quality called "intelligence" and if you
achieve it, you have something that can think like a human.

There's been tremendous progress in robotics and AI, but it hasn't
been aimed at achieving humanlike consciousness. Why should it be?
We're building tools, not dolls. An example of an AI success is
Mapquest automated directions. Another is computer translation of
human languages. Not to mention hundreds of machines of all types
that are subtly smarter and safer than they used to be. Forklifts
that won't run into you, electrocardiographs that issue a tentative
diagnosis ...

Rather than robots, I am much more concerned about ensuring full human
rights for human beings who are conceived by cloning. Although I
don't approve of it, there are going to be human clones. They will be
perfectly normal human beings just like the rest of us.
Unfortunately, science fiction and popular culture have set people up
to think of clones as some kind of slaves or sub-human entities with
no rights.

Merry Christmas!

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