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Thread: Robot rights

  1. #1
    #LOCKE4GOD Robot rights Alpha's Avatar
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    Robot rights

    Here's a thread no one saw coming. Let's debate the rights of (sentient) robots.

    For the purposes of the discussion beyond this point, a "robot" is a machine that has been granted artificial intelligence that rivals, or even surpasses, that of humans. But not only intelligence, but a state of consciousness -- the robot is aware of itself, why it was created, that it is similar to humans, and that it was created, by humans, to assist, replace or augment humans. For illustration, transpose your own consciousness into the guise of a robot. You are the same person you already are, except you are a robot. Hell, for kicks, just imagine that everyone who posts in this thread is actually a robot. Thus, "robots" in this discussion have a sense of pleasure and discomfort (broadly defined, and not necessarily physical). They are able to make their own decisions (for the purposes of this thread).

    Why is this discussion important? Well should we wait until the science has reached this point, and then discuss the rights of sentient robots, or discuss it before they are created? Let's avoid future robot injustices (and the ensuing robot reprisals) by holding this important discussion.

    So, on to the interesting questions.

    -----------------------------

    Under present law, robots are just inanimate property without rights or duties. Computers aren’t legal persons and have no standing in the judicial system. As such, computers and robots may not be the perpetrators of a felony; a man who dies at the hands of a robot has not been murdered. (An entertaining episode of the old Outer Limits TV series, entitled “I, Robot,” involved a court trial of a humanoid robot accused of murdering its creator.) But blacks, children, women, foreigners, corporations, prisoners, and Jews have all been regarded as legal nonpersons at some time in history. Certainly any self-aware robot that speaks English and is able to recognize moral alternatives, and thus make moral choices, should be considered a worthy “robot person” in our society. If that is so, shouldn’t they also possess the rights and duties of all citizens?

    If you, as a robot, can choose between different moral options, are you entitled to rights? Why can't you vote, when you can understand the difference between the policies of different political parties? Why can't you be tried in a criminal court, when you understand that you chose to murder someone, or to destroy private property?

    But the grey areas only become more immense:

    Software versions: Consider a robot who commits a felony while running the aggressive “Personality A” program, but is running mild-mannered ‘Personality M” when collared by the police. Is this a false arrest? Following conviction, are all existing copies of the criminal software package guilty too, and must they suffer the same punishment? (Guilt by association?) If not, is it double jeopardy to take another copy to trial? The robot itself could be released with its aggressive program excised from memory, but this may offend our sense of justice.

    Killing a robot: The bottom line is it’s hard to apply human laws to robot persons. Let’s say a human shoots a robot, causing it to malfunction, lose power, and “die.” But the robot, once “murdered,” is rebuilt as good as new. If copies of its personality data are in safe storage, then the repaired machine’s mind can be reloaded and up and running in no time – no harm done and possibly even without memory of the incident. Does this convert murder into attempted murder? Temporary roboslaughter? Battery? Larceny of time? We’ll probably need a new class of felonies or “cruelty to robots” statutes to deal with this.

    Levying criminal charges against robots: How should deviant robots be punished? Western penal systems assume that punishing the guilty body punishes the guilty mind – invalid for computers whose electromechanical body and software mind are separable. What is cruel and unusual punishment for a sentient robot? Does reprogramming a felonious computer person violate constitutional privacy or other rights?

    The life and liberty of robots: Robots and software persons are entitled to protection of life and liberty. But does “life” imply the right of a program to execute, or merely to be stored? Denying execution would be like keeping a human in a permanent coma – which seems unconstitutional. Do software persons have a right to data they need in order to keep executing?

    Robo-entitlements: Can robot citizens claim social benefits? Are unemployed robo-persons entitled to welfare? Medical care, including free tuneups at the government machine shop? Electricity stamps? Free education? Family and reproductive rights? Don’t laugh. A recent NASA technical study found that self-reproducing robots could be developed today in a 20-year Manhattan-Project-style effort costing less than $10 billion.

    Sexbots: According to sociologist and futurist Arthur Harkins at the University of Minnesota, “the advent of robots with sexual-service capabilities and simulated skin will create the potential for marriage between living and nonliving beings within the next twenty years.” For very lonely people, humanlike robots that don’t age and can work nonstop could become highly desirable as marriage partners for humans. In many instances, says Harkins, “such marriages may be celebrated with traditional wedding vows and country club receptions.”

    Is it possible to love a robot? Do we recognise a robot-mance between two kindred robot-spirits?

    Is it possible to rape, or be raped by, a robot?

    --------------------------

    I'm going to leave it here for the time being. I've been a bit lazy in this OP, quoting (in all instances of italics) from here: Legal Rights of Robots

    For further information, try Wikipedia, or the Institute for the Future.

    For the time being, consider the important message provided by two of the 21st-century's most eminent philosophers:

    Last edited by Alpha; 11-26-2010 at 06:31 PM.


  2. #2
    Special Agent Scullder. Unknown Entity's Avatar
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    Re: Robot rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha
    If you, as a robot, can choose between different moral options, are you entitled to rights? Why can't you vote, when you can understand the difference between the policies of different political parties? Why can't you be tried in a criminal court, when you understand that you chose to murder someone, or to destroy private property?
    As a programming student, I don't see nor understand why a robot would need rights. Robots are programmed to do what they do in order to function as intended by a human. I'm not saying it isn't possible to create a robot with high functioning morals or thoughts, but that would take many mathematical geniuses to come up with billions of formulas, algorithms and processes in order to create this robot you speak of.

    Creating a robot with a high amount of freewill is disturbing to say the least because it would be completely unpredictable - humans are born and raised, and usually become who they come because of factors throughout their life. A robot would put together parts of it's code and just become what is selected, therefore... why would someone design a robot with immense choices? Surely a robot would be designed for a purpose?

    I'm reminded of the movie I, Robot and Sonny. Sonny, unlike all the other new robots in the movie was built to be more independent. By Lanning, who then ordered Sonny to kill him.

    Think of online bots, and what they're capable of. They were designed my someone with a purpose. More or less, the ones we've come across on the internet have been advertising ones which spread the word of something in topics. Then think about the ones which are capable of fixing votes. Someone programmed the bot to fix the votes. What's to say the programmer coded the robot to his or her own morals in order to get another vote?

    Alas, those were just my thoughts when first picking up this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha
    They are able to make their own decisions (for the purposes of this thread).
    As I say, the robot would be unpredictable. If a robot was ever designed as I mentioned above with the formulas, algorithms and processes to make all the moral decisions a human could, and then had further construction so that the robot could mentally "grow" (and unlock parts of the coding gradually as it made choices throughout its "upbringing") as a human would, then perhaps robots would need robot rights and would need to follow the same rules and regulations as humans do.

    If I was a robot designed as such, then I'd need an education, I'd need to discover the differences between right and wrong, I'd need to understand feelings, and how things work in order to expand and unlock further parts of my programming in order to make my own moral decisions. I'd also need the right to vote, yet it would be difficult to determine when a good time/age for voting would be for me and other robots like me. I wouldn't/shouldn't have the right to vote immediately after creation because A) there's a chance I would be programmed to vote as such, or B) I've not discovered and/or unlocked parts of my own personality to make the moral choice, and C) in most countries, humans can't even vote until a certain age, and therefore not making it right.

    Software versions: Consider a robot who commits a felony while running the aggressive “Personality A” program, but is running mild-mannered ‘Personality M” when collared by the police. Is this a false arrest? Following conviction, are all existing copies of the criminal software package guilty too, and must they suffer the same punishment? (Guilt by association?) If not, is it double jeopardy to take another copy to trial? The robot itself could be released with its aggressive program excised from memory, but this may offend our sense of justice.
    It wouldn't be a false arrest as the robot had committed a crime, and switched personalities. That's like having a human with severe MPD having a turn, and then people ignoring it and setting them free. If a robot would commit a crime, then either its programming needs to be checked and corrected or the robot needs to be destroyed. With humans, it'd be prison and/or counselling, with some countries having the death penalty.

    Killing a robot: The bottom line is it’s hard to apply human laws to robot persons. Let’s say a human shoots a robot, causing it to malfunction, lose power, and “die.” But the robot, once “murdered,” is rebuilt as good as new. If copies of its personality data are in safe storage, then the repaired machine’s mind can be reloaded and up and running in no time – no harm done and possibly even without memory of the incident. Does this convert murder into attempted murder? Temporary roboslaughter? Battery? Larceny of time? We’ll probably need a new class of felonies or “cruelty to robots” statutes to deal with this.
    A robot could be easily repaired or replaced if a back up was kept of its memories or personalities, or if its "vital organs" were still intact. I don't condone taking a gun and shooting anything for no great reason, but a robot is a robot. Human life is much more valuable than tin and electronics in my opinion. It would be destruction of human property, but no "life" would be taken.

    Levying criminal charges against robots: How should deviant robots be punished? Western penal systems assume that punishing the guilty body punishes the guilty mind – invalid for computers whose electromechanical body and software mind are separable. What is cruel and unusual punishment for a sentient robot? Does reprogramming a felonious computer person violate constitutional privacy or other rights?
    It'll all be in the programming somewhere. Memories of the robot could remain intact, yet removal of the bad programming wouldn't be a bad thing.

    The life and liberty of robots: Robots and software persons are entitled to protection of life and liberty. But does “life” imply the right of a program to execute, or merely to be stored? Denying execution would be like keeping a human in a permanent coma – which seems unconstitutional. Do software persons have a right to data they need in order to keep executing?
    If a robot makes the choice to live, then let it live. If it wants to die, then I see no reason why it should be denied the right to end its life. It'd probably be able to reboot or restart itself somehow in order for a new robot to be born. Kind of like starting a new save file on a game, I suppose.

    Robo-entitlements: Can robot citizens claim social benefits? Are unemployed robo-persons entitled to welfare? Medical care, including free tuneups at the government machine shop? Electricity stamps? Free education? Family and reproductive rights? Don’t laugh. A recent NASA technical study found that self-reproducing robots could be developed today in a 20-year Manhattan-Project-style effort costing less than $10 billion.
    I don't see why not. However... what would a robot spend money on? Its electricity bill? This one is debatable because humans have needs a robot wouldn't need.

    Sexbots: According to sociologist and futurist Arthur Harkins at the University of Minnesota, “the advent of robots with sexual-service capabilities and simulated skin will create the potential for marriage between living and nonliving beings within the next twenty years.” For very lonely people, humanlike robots that don’t age and can work nonstop could become highly desirable as marriage partners for humans. In many instances, says Harkins, “such marriages may be celebrated with traditional wedding vows and country club receptions.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha
    Is it possible to love a robot? Do we recognise a robot-mance between two kindred robot-spirits?

    Is it possible to rape, or be raped by, a robot?
    On sexbots... why not? Not my cup of tea, but it could be beneficial - a robot cannot contract or give STDs (unless it's "equipment" isn't sterile). Worst case scenario is that it might give out an electric shock or harm the human involved. Two robots having sex is a little weird as would they be able to need or feel sex?

    As for robot love: I don't even think humans can think up the formulas, algorithms and processes in order to design love. If a human wants to marry or have a relationship with a robot, then the robot probably won't feel anything back unless told (i.e. programmed) to do so.

    If it's possible for a robot to make a choice to commit murder, then why not rape (provided it's "equipped")?


    It's a very complicated and mind-**** of a topic here, Alpha. +rep

    Definitely made me think... my post is probably not what you were looking for, might be inaccurate, or difficult to understand, but it's just what I thought. xD;


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  3. #3
    .............. Robot rights smurphy's Avatar
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    Re: Robot rights

    Are we going to differentiate between androids( robots built from the ground up) and cyborgs( humans who have been cyberised).

    An android should never be held accountable for crimes as machines are never intrinsically good or bad, only as good or bad as they have been programmed to be.They should still suffer the consequences of any crime, but the root cause should be investigated and if there was a human found to have made a mistake or purposefully did an inadequate job during programming they should be the ones held responsible. Of course copies would have to be investigated to see if they have the same inherent traits which might lead to other crimes. Processes like maintenance, reprogramming or even shutdown should be then taken accordingly.

    Cyborgs on the other hand, are fully responsible for their actions except for when the data which comprises the consciousness corrupts, which may be because the cyberbrain was programmed to before the consciousness was transferred by an intrinsically bad person, in which the programmer takes responcibility, or may be by accident, in which no one may be held accountable but steps should be taken to make sure the same error doesnt occur.

    In regards to crimes against androids, it should be the intent and not the end result that should be punished. Lets say a human shoots an android in the cyberbrain, causing permanent shutdown. But an external memory drive kept a backup of said android and the android was rebuilt exactly to represent the android until the moment it was shot. The murder charge should still stand as the original consciousness was killed, and the backup is only an exact copy, under the guise of a new consciousness. So something was still killed even though nothing in the physical world was permanently damaged. The same applies to crimes against cyborgs.

    In regards to the life and liberties of robots as well as robo entitlements, I believe that robots should have the right to to the same as humans only as long as they are of worth to society. A robot who makes the conscious decision to stop working as it was originally programmed to do loses those rights as it then becomes a burden to the system rather then a finely tuned cog in the workings of it. Basically robots should have to work for their maintenence and the freedom to execute as long as these dont break any laws.

    I think a distinction should be made between AIs who can feel and express love and sexbots whose only function is to satisfy the bodily urges of humans.
    I think it would be impossible for an android to be programmed to feel love but I feel that if an android was programmed with all the basic emotions and was programmed to have a self evolving AI within a few years that android could feel love, and this love would be non artificial as it was gained through experience, but could a robot be capable of self sacrifice? Given that most androids would be programmed to preserve themselves unless they caused danger to others, could a self evolving AI overwrite that so an AI would be willing to sacrifice itself for others in danger if it felt strongly enough about them. So if androids do develop love that would pretty much break the last barrier( barring of course, physical capabilities and lifespan) differentiating humans and sentient AIs. This would mean that androids are faced with choice, compared to sexbots who must be kept with a relatively basic AI so they would be contented to marry the "lonely people" referred to in the OP. If these sexbots were capable of love, they would also be capable of desire, and may become in-contented with life as a sexbot to someone, which would essentially be life like a slave, and would gain the desire to become free and make its own choices, leaving the former lonely person lonely again, which is defeating the purpose of these sexbots in the first place. So an android could theoretically be capable of love through life experience, but sexbots should not be allowed to be capable of this as it defeats the purpose of their existence.
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  4. #4
    #LOCKE4GOD Robot rights Alpha's Avatar
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    Re: Robot rights

    Great thoughts! There's a grey area pretty much every direction you turn in this topic. I'm just going to pull out a few comments that I have thoughts/questions around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown Entity View Post
    As a programming student, I don't see nor understand why a robot would need rights. Robots are programmed to do what they do in order to function as intended by a human. I'm not saying it isn't possible to create a robot with high functioning morals or thoughts, but that would take many mathematical geniuses to come up with billions of formulas, algorithms and processes in order to create this robot you speak of.
    The first thing that comes to mind is the possibility of a robot creating another robot, or changing itself. Consider the relatively simple notion of creating a robot that can learn. They already exist, to some primitive degree. But if a robot can learn, does it have a limit? Can it perhaps create its own consciousness, if not granted by human creators?

    Creating a robot with a high amount of freewill is disturbing to say the least because it would be completely unpredictable...

    As I say, the robot would be unpredictable. If a robot was ever designed as I mentioned above with the formulas, algorithms and processes to make all the moral decisions a human could, and then had further construction so that the robot could mentally "grow" (and unlock parts of the coding gradually as it made choices throughout its "upbringing") as a human would, then perhaps robots would need robot rights and would need to follow the same rules and regulations as humans do.
    The very fact that humans have free will is what gives us rights and responsibilities. Well, actually, rights exist independently of free will. Consider the mentally disabled -- they have the same rights as you or I, but possibly have a diminished capacity for the exercise of free will.

    I wouldn't/shouldn't have the right to vote immediately after creation because A) there's a chance I would be programmed to vote as such, or B) I've not discovered and/or unlocked parts of my own personality to make the moral choice, and C) in most countries, humans can't even vote until a certain age, and therefore not making it right.
    Do robots age? All notions of robots ageing, to me, suggests a robot become more and more obsolete. In this respect, it almost seems like a robot would be most able to vote near to it's engagement as a sentient being.

    An important question is what constitutes one 'robot vote', and what things they can vote for. Could someone create legions of microscopic robots in order to swing entire elections? Should robots be entitled to vote for things that do not concern robots?

    A robot could be easily repaired or replaced if a back up was kept of its memories or personalities, or if its "vital organs" were still intact. I don't condone taking a gun and shooting anything for no great reason, but a robot is a robot. Human life is much more valuable than tin and electronics in my opinion. It would be destruction of human property, but no "life" would be taken.
    Keep in mind my suggestion that you transpose your own consciousness into a robot. How would you feel if some one/robot disliked you enough to shut your motherboard ****ing system down? Sure, you're not made of flesh and blood, but you still have the desire to continue existing and being self-aware.

    If a robot makes the choice to live, then let it live. If it wants to die, then I see no reason why it should be denied the right to end its life. It'd probably be able to reboot or restart itself somehow in order for a new robot to be born. Kind of like starting a new save file on a game, I suppose.
    Robot euthanasia! Do the moral dilemmas ever end?!

    I don't see why not. However... what would a robot spend money on? Its electricity bill? This one is debatable because humans have needs a robot wouldn't need.
    Actually... would a robot be entitled to any of the product of its work? This is a question I would especially like to open up to the floor. Does the product of a robo-labourer accrue in some way to the robot, or to the owner of the robot? Robot labour rights... God damn.

    If it's possible for a robot to make a choice to commit murder, then why not rape (provided it's "equipped")?
    And how to you charge a robot with rape? How do you prove if it was "programmed" to do it, or "made the choice" to do it? How do you sentence a robot to prison?

    It's a very complicated and mind-**** of a topic here.
    My head has been exploding all day with the implications.

    Quote Originally Posted by smurphy
    Are we going to differentiate between androids( robots built from the ground up) and cyborgs( humans who have been cyberised).
    Ah yes. I was thinking of making the distinction. With regard to cyborgs, are they still human? I would imagine the key moment would come when someone's brain is computerised. And even before then, would it be possible for someone's robotised parts to act independently of the person to which they are attendant? What if your robot arm pulled a gun on someone, but you, thinking behind the cyborg parts of yourself, is not responsible for the actions? EDIT: You kind of covered this in another part of your post, I now see.

    An android should never be held accountable for crimes as machines are never intrinsically good or bad, only as good or bad as they have been programmed to be.They should still suffer the consequences of any crime, but the root cause should be investigated and if there was a human found to have made a mistake or purposefully did an inadequate job during programming they should be the ones held responsible.
    Remember: transpose yourself, and your own consciousness, into the guise of a robot. You, as robo-smurphy, can make moral choices. Is the programmer responsible? Further, what if the programmer was itself not human, but robot?

    In regards to the life and liberties of robots as well as robo entitlements, I believe that robots should have the right to to the same as humans only as long as they are of worth to society. A robot who makes the conscious decision to stop working as it was originally programmed to do loses those rights as it then becomes a burden to the system rather then a finely tuned cog in the workings of it. Basically robots should have to work for their maintenence and the freedom to execute as long as these dont break any laws.
    Ah, now here's an interesting question. What if you, as a sentient robot capable of moral decisions, decide that you do not agree to the purpose to which you are created? What if you are an abortionist robot? Or a forester robot? Do you have the right to refuse work? This links to the robot worker's rights introduced before.

    So much mind-**** right now.


  5. #5
    Lady Succubus Robot rights Victoria's Avatar
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    Re: Robot rights

    My mind isn't really getting fucked right now.

    It's pretty easy and simple. Once they become sentient, all they have to do is follow our laws. You're just asking excessive and unneeded questions that don't matter.

    And even if they have to be programmed, just program our basic common sense laws into them.

    It's that simple.

    And no, I won't answer any questions you throw my way, because chances are, they don't even need to be asked in the first place. They'd just be filler to expand a small topic.
    Last edited by Victoria; 11-27-2010 at 09:45 AM.

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    Re: Robot rights

    Maybe to further understand this topic we should discuss what exactly these robots are. An android is pretty simple to understand the semantics behind so when discussing the morality things are pretty black and white. But the issue of cyborgs is much more of a grey area.

    I dont think by simply describing cyborgs as humans in a robot body would be correct. I believe it is much more complex than that. Why?

    This may be a bold statement but I believe......During the process of cyberisation the original consciousness of the human dies. The cyborg itself is a new consciousness. It is an AI with the inherent traits, memories and mannerisms of the original human. An exact copy. I know it is hard to believe but just think about it and it might make sense. Seriously how can a human consciousness be turned into a series of 1s and 0s.

    Assuming the above might be true can the cyborg be persecuted in the same way as a human when it consciously commits a crime.Because of it being essentially a human clone, an already programmed AI, isnt this new consciousness just as much of a victim because of its predicament?
    Last edited by smurphy; 11-27-2010 at 10:08 AM. Reason: spelling error
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  7. #7
    Lady Succubus Robot rights Victoria's Avatar
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    Re: Robot rights

    Uhm.. No. A Cyborg is a human with robotic parts. If the brain is removed and AI is put in, it's no longer a cyborg, but an android. Look at Barret from FF7. He has a gun arm. He's a cyborg.

    ...Does that mean he has artificial AI? No.

    Just because you modify your body to have robotic parts, doesn't mean your consciousness goes with it. Your consciousness only goes away if you remove the brain. Cyborg =/= A whole robotic body. It can just be an arm, a leg, both legs, all your limbs, etc, etc.
    Last edited by Victoria; 11-27-2010 at 10:45 AM.

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    Re: Robot rights

    Well technically the term cyborg refers to beings comprised of both biological and mechanical parts. The organic parts do not technically have to be organic but can be synthetic. The term cyborg, in its wider meaning does not have to refer to modified humans solely. In referring to cyborgs, I am referring to robots which have been constructed to look exactly like humans, with an mechanical interior and biological exterior. Much like a terminator. The term cyborg has a very loose interpretation.It may even refer to sentient AIs in pseudo human bodies.

    In regards to cyberisation, I referred to when the brain is replaced by a convoluted computer which is capable of thought processes. The human brain is just as fragile as the rest of the body so it makes sense to have a computerised substitute. What happens when the human brain is made redundant?
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  9. #9
    Lady Succubus Robot rights Victoria's Avatar
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    Re: Robot rights

    With your logic, every 'word' has a loose interpretation to fit anything and everything anyone says so that they can be right.

    To me, no, it does not have a loose interpretation. Cyborg always has been a modified human. That's it. There's no broad definition of it at all.

    If it's a robot like the Terminator or a robot that's meant to look like a human, that's not a cyborg. That's still an android.

    Yes, I'm aware we've gone off on a different tangent, but I don't really care. It happens. I've said my piece on the main topic, so yeah.

  10. #10
    The Mad God Robot rights Heartless Angel's Avatar
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    Re: Robot rights

    Excellent thread Alpha. Actually just finished a paper on Artificial Intelligence for a philosophy class, so I've done some thinking on this subject recently.

    Actually my fascination with AI began a long ass time ago when I was just a little shit watching Star trek with my dad. For years I had one-man arguments with myself on whether or not LtCmd Data was really alive, and what rights he should've been entitled to. In fact there were a few episodes devoted to that very question.

    Software versions: Being able to switch to two different personality programs wouldn't be much different than dealing with a person suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (also known as split personalities). Assuming of course the robot isn't in control of which program was running AND the two programs were completely different identities that did not consider each other a part of their 'selves'. If this is the case, we'd probably have to have some sort of robot asylum. If the robot was in CONTROL of which program was running, and was aware of what the other programs did, then we'd have to treat him just like any other murderer with intent to kill, a murderr of the 1st degree. If the program was triggered by some random input from the person he killed, we'd probably have to call that a crime of passion, like a 2nd degree murder. Of course we'd have the option of modifying (to put a limit on just HOW agressive it can get) or even erasing the agressive programming, but that could be cosndiered a violation of the robot's rights. But then, we must consider that the robots aren't born, and their personalities aren't formed at random. It'd make more sense to just mandate what sorts of agressiveness could be programmed into a robot. If one was made that fell out of those limits, and that caused it to commit a crime, it'd be completely acceptable as far as I'm concerned to modify that part of the program. Isn't that kind of what we try to do with prisons and such? Yeah, part of it is to punish the criminal, but alot of it is to reform them into a citizen that can function in society. I however would NOT say it's alright to just go grab a robot off the street, check that program and modify it because he had the potential to be agressive. That'd be like pulling a random guy off the street and arresting him based on a psyche test that determined he was psychologically capable of taking a life. That'd be completely unfair to any sentient being. We all have the right to excercise self control over our actions. It isn't until we fail to do so that society can punish us for who we really are.

    Killing a robot: If the robot survived, good as new. I'd just call it attempted (and failed) murder. If a human brought me near death, ut they managed to pull be back in a hospital, we wouldn't call the guy a murderer, because ultimately my life didn't end. If the robot was damaged beyond repair, then yes. It's murder. It'd jsut be ignificantly harder to succesfully murder a robot. Personally I don't think there should be any difference between attempt and success as far as punishment goes for ANY crime. What you did was wrong independant of how good you were at it. No one should get a lesser punishment for a crime jsut because they fail at life. As for damaging a robot in a way that it could survive solely for the purpose of costing it time it could be spending living by isntead being repaired, I would have to say would need it's own crime. That'd probably be some form of assault with intent to cripple the victim or something like that.

    Levying criminal charges against robots: I'd probably confiscate its body and store its mind in a larger computer for a period of time. Since in the case of a robot, we CAN directly confine the mind without doing much of anything with the body. Reprogramming to an extent is what penal systems kind of try to do anyways. I'd say it's an invasion of privacy and violation of rights to just start rewriting your brain against your will of course. Much like a real prison, if the offending robot could prove it was capable of controlling its agressive program, or CONSENTED to have that program rewritten or removed, then I'd say it's met the requirements to be released back into society with its body.

    The life and liberty of robots: Your analogy here is perfectly valid Alpha. Absolutely its right to life would be to execute its program and control a functioning body with it.

    Robo-entitlements: Personally, I think we give to much crap like these to people (not saying we don't need ANY) but I would have to say robots would have every bit as much right to them as we do. Their needs however would be less, and to reflect that, so would the welfare checks they recieved. If a robot could comfortably live in a broom closet, buying it a house with government money seems really wasteful. Similarly, if it has no digestive system, giving it food stamps for enjoyment purposes would also be a waste. The stuff we give poor people are the essentials to continue living. If in a robot's case, that means a power outlet and a closet to hang out in when it's raining, that's what we'll have to give them. If it turns out they run on a biochemical system like us, then I guess we'll have to give them food stamps too.
    For Our Lord Sheogorath, without Whom all Thought would be linear and all Feeling would be fleeting. Blessed are the Madmen, for they hold the keys to secret knowledge. Blessed are the Phobic, always wary of that which would do them harm. Blessed are the Obsessed, for their courses are clear. Blessed are the Addicts, may they quench the thirst that never ebbs. Blessed are the Murderous, for they have found beauty in the grotesque. Blessed are the Firelovers, for their hearts are always warm. Blessed are the Artists, for in their hands the impossible is made real. Blessed are the Musicians, for in their ears they hear the music of the soul. Blessed are the Sleepless, as they bask in wakeful dreaming. Blessed are the Paranoid, ever-watchful for our enemies. Blessed are the Visionaries, for their eyes see what might be. Blessed are the Painlovers, for in their suffering, we grow stronger. Blessed is the Madgod, who tricks us when we are foolish, punishes us when we are wrong, tortures us when we are unmindful, and loves us in our imperfection.





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