‘Robots as Persons’–Is This for Real?

Image result for i, robot by isaac asimov

The European Parliament has approved a draft proposal to grant “legal rights” to robots as “electronic persons” ( https://www.rt.com/viral/373450-robot-kill-switches-status/ ). It will also include “obligations” for robots to “make good any damage they may cause”–an obligation, by the way, which does not seem to apply to “asylum seekers” in Germany and France who have done a lot of damage which is not made good. But I digress.

Are they jiving us? I’m having a hard time believing this story. Take this quote, for instance:

“AI [Artificial Intelligence] developers will have to ensure their creations follow a set of rules that prohibit them from harming or allowing a human to come to harm through their inaction. AI can protect their own existence under the rules, if this does not harm any humans.” And just in case, it is proposed that a “kill switch” be added so that “any rogue robots can be turned off easily.”

Hold on a minute, there! Isn’t this “Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics”? In his 1942 short story, “Runaround,” science fiction great Isaac Asimov proposed “three laws,” which he applied to his stories about robots from then on and which were adopted by many other science fiction writers. I grew up reading those stories and novels, and I know those “laws” by heart.

One) A robot must not, by any action or inaction, cause or permit any human being to come to harm.

Two) A robot must obey all commands given to it by any human being, unless that would conflict with the First Law.

Three) A robot may do whatever it needs to do to protect its own existence, except when that would conflict with either the First or Second Law.

The robots in Asimov’s novels, like I, Robot, were almost indistinguishable from real human beings. The EU seems to be concerned that people may wind up confusing a robot’s simulation of human drives and emotions with the real thing. That could get kind of sticky.

And so the secular humanist God-playing project goes on and on, from one folly to the next. It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture–that’s what the Bible says (Psalm 100:3), and the secular whoopee crowd has a real problem with it.

As for me, I don’t see how people who don’t have all that much intelligence themselves can be so confident in their ability to create artificial intelligence in electronic persons.

Artificial Stupidity–yeah, I think they can manage that.

These people are very seriously deluded.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

12 responses to “‘Robots as Persons’–Is This for Real?

  • UnKnowable

    I’m waist deep in high-tech as a part of my work. Over the last year or so, I’ve become increasingly convinced that computers have reached the saturation point and are now harming the human race. For one thing, email and texting have supplanted face-to-face communications and telephone calls. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve dealt with an intransigent problem by insisting that we speak on the phone, or face-to-face. Computers facilitate communication, but texting and email degrade the quality of communications; email is oppressively slow if you are trying to get a back and forth exchange of ideas in motion.

    But it goes beyond that. Our cars are computers, likewise our telephones and likely our TV sets. If the computer in either of my cars goes onto a snit I’ll be walking. One friend has had several $900-$1,000 repairs to the computers in his Jeep, when the security system decided to lock him out of his own car. At least once a month my TV demands a software upgrade and interrupts the DVD I’m viewing. I wish I still had my old TV.

    So granting legal rights to robots doesn’t surprise me. These people are insane.

    Like

  • marlene

    How does a robot not “allow a human to come to harm” without harming the harmer? How will a robot break up a fight? Replacing real live teachers with robots will, over time, alienate schoolchildren from human contact and cause irreparable harm to their psyche. At first there probably will be a teacher present to condition (control) the students on how to accept, treat and react to the robot that has a picture of a human face on it with eyes and a mouth that move. If the use of robots expands (everything expends until it reaches the hidden goal) and take over the cafeteria, the crossing guards, the infirmary, the kids will be spending more time with robots than with real live parents to the point that their natural, impressionable nature to imitate behavior makes them the compliant, obedient, metal-brained servants of the NWO corporate oligarchy, Most likely these robots will be rented and, therefore, there must be many rules, difficult to follow, that brings in cash when a rule is broken. Enter, the insurance industry. Maybe robot hospitals with a robot staff. The Twilight Zone is their future.. The more I think about this, the more it disgusts me.

    Like

    • leeduigon

      Idiocy is a growth industry, these days. They study computer models which they created, and come up with Global Warming. How needs nature when you’ve got DIY computer models?

      Wait’ll the Episcopal Church finds out they can have robot pastors.

      Like

      • marlene

        “Robot pastors” – LOL. I can just see robots walking down the aisles of pews, automatically removing funds from our digital “cash” accounts, without interruption, Of course, robots won’t know whether they’re episcopalian, evangelical, protestant, catholic, presbtyarian, etc. because it will be one size fits all. A homosexual pedophile on my left, a satanist on my right, and “Happy Daze Are Here Again.” You have a way of taking off the edge off something that is otherwise horrible. Thank you for that.

        Like

      • UnKnowable

        Make that transgender robots as pastors. 🙂

        Like

  • Donald John

    Reject the mark of the beast in Jesus Christ name.

    Like

  • thomask69

    Maby they will call themselfs “Silicon Based Lifeforms”. (Siblifs).

    Like

  • UnKnowable

    If robots are granted rights, what will happen to a human that wishes to end the service life of a robot? Will deactivating a robot be a form of murder? Will humans be forced to pay for unending repairs and upgrades because robots cannot be allowed to “die”?

    It strikes me that there are a lot of people out there whom are unable to distinguish between science and science fiction.

    Like

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