“We Robot” Rights for Robots
A colleague forwarded the following conference announcement: We Robot 2012: Setting the Agenda. I’m never quite sure any more, but I believe this announcement is an actual conference, actually going to happen (as opposed to science fiction, where such things happened in the past century). The presentation titles look even more intriguing than those for my upcoming Microbiology meeting. For example:
- How Should The Law Think About Robots?
- Confronting Automated Law Enforcement [will Sharer nonviolence work, I wonder]
- Extending Legal Rights to Robots Based on Anthromorphism [hmm, what about octopods?]
- Delegation, Relinquishment and Responsibility: The Prospect of Robot Experts [My favorite!]
- Don’t Robots Have Politics? [Sure, who makes all those robocalls? ]
- Sex, Robots and Roboticization of Consent [Sigh. Where’s Woody Allen?]
- Military Robotics [Hunter-seekers, coming soon to your neighborhood]
- Liar Liar Pants on Fire! Examining the Constitutionality of Enhanced Robo-Interrogation [See? I told you they’re teaching computers to lie.]
Perhaps the most compelling–and unsettling–topic on the list is:
- Robots Working with Autism.
In fact, there is a lot of promising work using robots to help autistic children. But what does it say about us humans, if there exist beings whom autistic children prefer to us? Who’s going to judge humanity in the future?