I can’t believe I’m beating Jonah to the punch in sounding the alarm against the looming robot menace, but the Financial Times this week reported that advocates for “robot rights” are emerging before “conscious robots” even exist. And the leading voice of robot appeasement comes — surprise, surprise — from our nation’s universities:
“If we make conscious robots they would want to have rights and they probably should,” said Henrik Christensen, director of the Centre of Robotics and Intelligent Machines at the Georgia Institute of Technology . . . “Would it be acceptable to kick a robotic dog even though we shouldn’t kick a normal one?
“There will be people who can’t distinguish that so we need to have ethical rules to make sure we as humans interact with robots in an ethical manner so we do not move our boundaries of what is acceptable.”
It is even less surprising that the leading spokesman for robot rights comes from Georgia Tech. Yes, the same Georgia Tech that has systematically violated the free-speech rights of actual humans. In the coming conflict between man and cyborg, one major American institution has already chosen sides.