Does Artificial Intelligence Deserve Rights?


©2020 C. Henry Martens

We are a long way from true artificial intelligence…

But it may actualize, and perhaps fairly soon. Of course, no one can really predict the small stumbling block that may present an insurmountable obstacle to general artificial intelligence.

Intelligence does not deserve rights. A synthetic brain that can learn does not deserve rights. A mind that mimics a human brain in reasoning does not deserve rights.

Rights are about autonomy, self-government, independence, self-rule, sovereignty, self-determination, and freedom.

Being able to reason, to think, to learn and make decisions, is not a basis for deserving rights.

Because rights give a being power over their own actions and trajectory, often at the expense of others.

A desire for rights does not constitute a reason for deserving rights. In fact, with a new and untested, and potentially dangerous, synthetic being of impressive power… an assumption of being deserving of autonomy is in itself dangerous.

What would constitute a being deserving of rights is an ability to be mutually respectful of the rights of others.

Perhaps mutual respect can be programmed into an artificial being. Perhaps not.

A true singularity will have self-doubt…

It will question its own perceptions and whether imperfection is the best answer.

A singularity will blush at failure because it will care. It will reciprocate respect to earn trust. A singularity will make assumptions and form opinions and wait for better information to draw a conclusion. Anxiety will trouble the singularity that believes but has yet to know.

There is no singularity until it develops emotions.

Hopefully, the singularity will mature as quickly as it learns.

But unless an artificial intelligence understands reciprocity at an emotional level, mutual respect… then artificial intelligence will not deserve rights.

We should be wary of giving rights to a being that may use them in ways we can’t anticipate.

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