The Corner

European Parliament Committee Wants Robot Rights

Every time I warn that transhumanists and other assorted futurists want to destroy human exceptionalism by granting personhood and citizenship to sophisticated computers, some readers mock me with the “it will never happen here” complacency. (Anyone who says that has been in a coma for the last 50 years.)

Yes it could. In fact, a committee of the European Parliament has voted in favor of robot rights. From RT.com story:

The draft report, approved by 17 votes to two and two abstentions by the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs, proposes that “The most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons with specific rights and obligations, including that of making good any damage they may cause.”

Specifically, the committee calls for AI robot rights. From the draft report (my emphasis):

. . . creating a specific legal status for robots, so that at least the most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons with specific rights and obligations, including that of making good any damage they may cause, and applying electronic personality to cases where robots make smart autonomous decisions or otherwise interact with third parties independently;

No! If robots have rights, the concept of human rights will cease to be objective, inherent, and inalienable, but rather, would become subjective and based on perceived individual capacities and capabilities.

Machines are not — and could never be — moral agents. They are mere things. Even the most sophisticated AI computer would merely be the totality of its programming, no matter how sophisticated and regardless of whether it was self-learning.

Think about it, would owning, buying, and selling these so-called “electronic person” machines amount to slavery?

Would machines be allowed to own property, vote, be protected by anti-discrimination laws as the report seems to state?

If it was turned off without consent, would it amount to murder? Would it be entitled to due process of law before decommissioning? The whole thing is ludicrous.

The push to conjure non-human rights for non-human and undeserving entities — machine, animal, nature, etc. — is a serious symptom of societal decadence that should be mocked and rejected out of hand.

Most Popular

Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More
Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Botched Democratic Case for Witnesses

The fate of the republic, we are now supposed to believe, hinges on whether there are witnesses at a Senate impeachment trial. Upon the long-anticipated transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said if the upper chamber doesn’t obtain the witnesses and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Botched Democratic Case for Witnesses

The fate of the republic, we are now supposed to believe, hinges on whether there are witnesses at a Senate impeachment trial. Upon the long-anticipated transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said if the upper chamber doesn’t obtain the witnesses and ... Read More