[extropy-chat] Robot rights: Transhumanism on the March

Giu1i0 Pri5c0 pgptag at gmail.com
Wed Dec 20 09:10:15 UTC 2006

In sober and matter-of-factly language, the Financial Times
"Far from being extracts from the extreme end of science fiction, the
idea that we may one day give sentient machines the kind of rights
traditionally reserved for humans is raised in a British
government-commissioned report which claims to be an extensive look into the

"Robots and machines are now classed as inanimate objects without rights or
duties but if artificial intelligence becomes ubiquitous, the report argues,
there may be calls for humans' rights to be extended to them". What is
interesting is the assumption that artificial intelligence will probably
become ubiquitous, and produce sentient machines, and the conclusion that
once we have created sentient machines the only reasonable course of action
will be considering them fully human and giving them humans' rights. If
granted full rights, states will be obligated to provide full social
benefits to them including income support, housing and possibly
robo-healthcare to fix the machines over time. The report argues that if
'correctly managed', this new world of robots' rights could lead to
increased labour output and greater prosperity. Very transhumanist
statements, coming from UK government officers. What I always admired of the
Brits is that they are very pragmatic people, and do not often let whishful
thinking blind their eyes to facts.

This is VERY good news and means that transhumanist ideas are definitely
moving from the realm of science fiction to mainstream policy making. Of
course it is very bad news for those who wish to keep us un the middle ages,
and (of course), Wesley J. Smith has already stated that "we are out of our
minds to follow this course" in an article aptly titled "Transhumanism on
the March<http://www.wesleyjsmith.com/blog/2006/12/transhumanism-on-march.html>":
"Third, and most importantly, this is the kind of speculation that the
transhumanists want us to pursue. Because if machines can have "human"
rights, it means that there is nothing particularly exceptional about being

Smith has found his luddite niche and must be true to his image, but I am
sure he understands that similar words have already been said and forgotten,
e.g. "if women can have "manly" rights, it means that there is nothing
particularly exceptional about being a man".
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