Robots Are People Too?


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They say hard cases make bad law, so lets not talk about a toaster.


You have a robot, an android, similar in appearance to a human, close enough that you couldn't tell at a distance. This robot has intelligence at or slightly above that of a human and sentience.


Is that robot a person? Would that robot be entitled to human rights? Should it be protected under the law as a person? Would it be okay (with full knowledge of entomology of the word robot) to treat that sentient robot as a slave? As less than human?
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Cole: entomology is the study of insects: ent ~ ant. You mean "etymology" the study of word origins. "Robot" was coined by Karel Capek in his 1920 play RUR: Rossum's Universal Robots: Czech robotnik = serf (~ Latin: robur=oak; robustos = strong).

Thanks, jts! My thoughts exactly. This was a world-class ST:NG episode. I would have made other points, but they did a great job. I have watched in through more than a few times.

Fred Cole, this is an old problem, long since addressed by Nathaniel Branden when he was still with Ayn Rand. The essential distinguishing characteristic of human-ness is volition. Any being - even a hypothetical "Martian" or in your terms "robot" - that reasons is human by any measure that matters. I recommend as a glimpse into the likely future, Valentia: Soul on Sapphire by Delaney and Stiegler. In that story, a self-aware computer program electronically files incorporation papers to win her freedom as an eternal and artificial individual with rights under law. Corporations are robots, for all the difference it makes.

How do you "know" if a "robot" or "Martian" or "corporation" exhibits volition based on reason and self-awareness? You are looking for a simple answer where none can exist. No single reduction provides the one-line answer. The Turing Test is perhaps the best standard: if you cannot tell the difference, then there is no difference. You must use all of your experience and judgment. No "philosopher's stone" exits.

I maintain that not all featherless bipeds are rational animals. I mean that just because another entity resembles you on the outside does not mean that they are like you on the inside. Many people, perhaps billions, have no voice in their heads. They live well and succeed admirably by imitation without internal direction.

Julian Jaynes discussed this in explaining how writing gave us a sense of self.

Read anything of any amount in any college textbook on biochemistry and then tell me that you are not a "robot." I spent two years teaching robot operations and programming. I assure you...

JTS: As I said, I like the entire episode. I believe that that scenes rests on this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f0hns2AVW0


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Humans and robots in a human society and consciousness: Human society doesn't have to deal with the consciousness of robots until robots claim consciousness and start enforcing those claims if they fall on deft ears.

--Brant

pull the plug!

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Humans and robots in a human society and consciousness: Human society doesn't have to deal with the consciousness of robots until robots claim consciousness and start enforcing those claims if they fall on deft ears.

--Brant

pull the plug!

See -The Terminator-. Or see -The Day the Earth Stood Still- (old version with Paricia Neal)

Gort! Klaatu Barada Nikto

Ba'al Chatzaf

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http://youtu.be/_xAGIqVzu6k

This is how to properly misspend youth.

(A.K.A. What in the hell am I doing with my life?)

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