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Robot Rights: A Long Debate, 3 Existing Laws & More

By Piyali Roy staff@sciencetimes.com | May 24, 2017 04:42 PM EDT

It is very well known about the future of robotics in today's modern world. The robotic technology, as well as artificial intelligence, has a rapid advancement with robots playing a major role in the society. For example, self-driven cars and personal assistant robots are already happening. A major question apart from all these things is that, "should there be any robot rights?"

As Robot Shop cited, robots already have pre-programmed responses from the software design. Today's advanced robots may act like a human being, show emotions have no programming of making personal choices. But still, a careful consideration should be kept in mind that who will be responsible if the autonomous or semi-autonomous thing harms any human being or causes any kind of damage? This is where the robot rights can come into consideration.

A Russian science fiction writer in the year 1942 gave three laws for robotics. For the next 75 years, these three laws are the main reason for the inspiration of research on robot rights. These three laws are even taken up by South Korea in the year 2007 for the 'Ethics Charter for Robots'. The name of the writer was Isaac Asimov and his laws were very simplistic and obsolete as it was more centered on human rather than robots.

L'Atelier reported that the three laws which inspired robot rights are A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law, A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Some digital technology researchers have a point that if robots are behaving and acting just as human beings, and if the human is being protected by some human rights, why the robots cannot be protected by robot rights. Robots rights can protect humans as well as the autonomous beings as well.

Researchers who are on the negative side for proposing robot rights for the robots have a view that giving robot rights to robots is very dangerous. This is so because; after giving the robots their robot rights it will put the human beings and the robots on the equal footing. It will not maintain the reality that robots exist due to the abilities of human beings and for addressing the goals of human beings only.

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