Should a Sentient Machine Have Rights? Sophia Does!
Singularity is a theory based on artificial super intelligence (ASI) surpassing human intelligence and radically changing civilization as we know it. Analysts believe this can and WILL happen within the next two decades.
The realm of artificial intelligence is complex and advancing faster than most other technological sectors, and simply looping all forms of A.I. in one category would be vague.
- ANI – This is A.I. that specializes in one field, such as playing chess or analyzing traffic pollution. Any other task outside of its specialty would render it obsolete.
- AGI – At this point, A.I. has reached or surpassed the intelligence of a human. It can adapt, plan, and solve problems, learning by itself.
- ASI – By now, the A.I. possesses more intelligence than humanity combined, with its potential being limitless by our comprehension.
- Emotional intelligence – It remains to be seen whether or not machines can truly understand and feel emotions. It is more likely in the short-term that A.I. will learn how to mimic our behavior patterns and facial expressions in order to communicate with people more effectively.
Most of the online services we enjoy (such as Siri, Google, and games) are ANI-based, developed to perform specific tasks.
Another question humanity may need to ask itself is what defines a life.
Human rights are birth rights for any man, woman, and child, but if a machine achieves the level of AGI or ASI and demands the same rights of any human, what does that make its users, creators, or even the business that purchased its complex algorithms to fulfill a task…?
Of course, this is theorizing, but this is already happening right now! Hanson Robotics’ (also behind SingularityNET) very own Sophia robot was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia.
It also seems this difficult topic has been thought of before, as far back as the early nineties in an episode of Star Trek, The Next Generation (The Measure of a Man) – (https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0708807/&ved=2ahUKEwickMzM8_HbAhVr6oMKHUhfDE8QFjAMegQIAxAB&usg=AOvVaw3Pyle4gG8QrL_0oWxbIeQ7).
Brent Spiner’s Commander Data (a highly advanced android) is on trial to prove that he is sentient and entitled to the same rights and privileges as any human.
If AI can learn sufficient emotional content such as compassion, empathy, grief — and make these an important part of its parameters — then we may just be able to survive as a species and not become slaves to the AI or pt down as an encroaching virus.