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Rights or Virtues

An interesting take on the ‘should robots have rights’ discussion. Basically, the argument is that rights, as a concept, are problematic, and we’re not even sure if people have them. So it’d be better to think about how to build robots to embody civic virtues.


I think one of the problems this domain is going to encounter is - if ‘rights’ aren’t given upfront or initially - how will they be acquired down the road…

If history is any indication… Look how long it took women, and other group types, to get some semblance of ‘equal’ rights when compared to others.


This whole domain is a big interest of mine…
So many different ways this branches out.
For example, in 10 - 20 or 30 years… will something like BattleBots be looked down upon the same way as dog fighting is today?

I think that’s what the author was getting at - Rights as a concept are quite difficult, and applying them to robots is even more difficult. That is, rights ‘really’ just exist at the whim of society, so instead of trying to grant rights to robots, we should build robots that embody the sorts of civic virtues we want to promote, and the rest will just follow.

You comments on women and minorities (and dogs) highlights this issue. Our perception of what rights different entities have changes over time, and what is now considered inhumane used to be considered ‘the natural way of things.’