They are among us
A few months ago, a Saudi Arabian citizenship was granted to a humanoid robot named Sophia. It marks a significant first for robots, but raised an equally significant question: are the rights of robots equal to human rights, then?
Developed by Hanson Robotics, a company based in Hong Kong, Sophia speaks, looks, and even expresses emotions just like an ordinary human being. Although she is still fundamentally and arguably different from humans, the fact that it has been granted citizenship seems to give it a status that makes it almost equal with actual humans like yourself.
This is yet again another solid proof that they, the robots, are now among us, and not just among us, but practically “living” among us. But, does it mean that they are now entitled to the rights originally meant for human beings alone?
There are some who argue that robots have been programmed in such a way that they behave like humans but without any sense of consciousness, the one trait that differentiates humans from other animal species on this planet.
However, if you stop and consider it for a moment, it is not really difficult to find perfect examples of humans who lost their sense of consciousness or were born with certain impairments which significantly reduced their self-awareness but they are still citizens given with and enjoying equal rights.
Should we grant them citizenship? (Something to wonder about)
On top of that, with the latest developments in the field of artificial intelligence or AI, the world may actually be getting to the level wherein robots are not just capable to exhibit the similar kind of creativity that people do, but it is also starting to progress to a level in which AI is starting to get the same or even better general intelligence compared to that of human, probably starting to gain consciousness themselves. Having said this, what do you think is going to happen, then?
There are already proponents who have suggested to tax robots. This is very much possible even though it is not a widely supported means of compensating for the significant job losses that artificial intelligence is continuously propagating. It is also doing something else. This puts robots even much closer to human beings, enjoying the benefits of the same rights but is still subjected to specific obligations.
However, even though it is possible to grant robots with the same obligations and rights, is this the kind of outcome that the world, and the people in it, will prefer?
Obviously, the rise of robots will have notable implications for businesses which will obviously need to make changes to their policies to give way to such change. Lawmakers will also be affected, as well as politics. Will robots be able to vote, much less run for positions in the government?
Finally, what will it mean for the public in general? Will people be able to accept robots as one of them? Will they be able to live with creatures that behave and look like humans but are fundamentally different in every sense of the word?
For now, these questions are still left to be answered. But, robots, without a doubt, are now among us, and they seem to be here to stay.
To learn more about the robot and their components please check the following articles