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Robot rights?

If robots were to acquire both the intelligence and the means to cause harm and destabilize the social and political order, they would effectively be living in a state of nature within the Leviathan—that is, within the systems of sovereignty and laws that undergird modern states but which currently only bind humans…we would need to think of them as legal actors.

Professor Nayef Al-Rodhan


On 6 March, Age of Robots featured GCSP’s Professor Nayef Al-Rodhan, Head of Geopolitics and Global Futures Programme in his article ‘Artificial Intelligent Agents: Prerequisites for Rights and Dignity.’ It discusses the relationship between humans and robots, the morality of robots, and rights for AI agents.

Al-Rodhan argues in order to deserve rights, ‘AI agents would need…first, a capacity to feel and display emotions; second, a capacity for moral choices and accountability; and third, a capacity for self-awareness and personal egoism.’

The debate around robot morality and legal rights is only intensifying. Who will make the decisions, who will be held accountable and what is the path forward?

What do you think it would take for robots to acquire rights?

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