The Corner

Robots Are Machines, Not Persons

The mechanical “woman” above–through her human-written program–speaks of one day having a family and being a person. 

Many in transhumanism and bioethics one day hope to establish robot rights or machine rights.

Never. No matter how sophisticated a computer is, it will always just be a machine–dependent on its programming, whether or not self-written.

And no robot could ever truly “create” art. Art is a distinctly human and subjective enterprise, not based on wired-in programming. 

By the way, I have been called a “bigot” for asserting that only humans–not machines, animals, nature, or plants–should have enforceable rights. 

That’s faulty reasoning. There is a proper hierarchy of moral worth, and humans are at the apex.

Even enemies of human exceptionalism understand this, which is why they always are looking for analogous capacities among lesser entities—whether animals or AI computers/robots—as a means to bootstrap them into a position of moral equality with us.

Nope. Only we have moral and legally enforceable duties. No machine, animal, plant, or river can ever be morally accountable for anything.

And only we are true bearers of rights.


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