Artificial Intelligence robot "Sophia" photo | 20217-12-06 | Prof Kristin Andrews

Philosophy prof Andrews comments on the rise of smart machines and ‘robot rights’

NBC News published an article examines whether as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more profound, we will reach a point in which computers will count as persons whose interests need to be respected.

Given the rate of technological advancement, before too long we may conclude that some machines have feelings and thoughts of their own. If this happens, our treatment of those machines will need to be considered differently than how most people would treat our familiar household machines--a lawnmower or refrigerator, for instance.

Philosophers and scholars are already envisioning a time when AI, and the machines and robots that personify it, may come to deserve rights of their own.

“If you’ve got a computer or a robot that’s autonomous and self-aware, I think it would be very hard to say it's not a person,” says philosophy professor Kristin Andrews, and York Research Chair in Animal Minds.

The nascent field of AI has uncovered countless previously unexplored ethical and moral conundrums that may fundamentally shift our own belief systems, and warrant further active inquiry before things have progressed further than we are prepared for.

Read the full article on the NBC News website.