Philosophers and lawyers have explored important aspects of the moral and legal status of robots, with some advocating giving robots rights. As robots take on more roles in the world, a new analysis reviewed research on robot rights, concluding that giving robots rights is a bad idea. Instead, the article looks to Confucianism to offer an alternative.
An analysis by a Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) researcher appears Communications of the ACMpublished by the Association for Computing Machinery.
“People are worried about the risks of giving rights to robots,” said Tae Wan Kim, associate professor of business ethics at CMU’s Tepper Business School, who conducted the analysis. “Granting rights is not the only way to address the moral status of robots. “Thinking of robots as bearers of rituals rather than bearers of rights might work better.”
While many believe that respecting robots should lead to granting them rights, Kim argues for a different approach. Confucianism, an ancient Chinese belief system, focuses on the social value of achieving harmony; individuals become distinctly human in their ability to perceive interests not in terms of purely personal interests, but in terms that include relationships and a shared self. This, in turn, requires a unique view of ritual in which people improve themselves morally by participating in proper rituals.
In discussing robots, Kim suggests that the Confucian alternative of assigning robots rituals, or what he calls role obligations, is more appropriate than giving robots rights. The concept of rights is often adversarial and contested, and the potential conflict between humans and robots is a concern.
“Assigning role responsibilities to robots encourages teamwork, which leads to the understanding that fulfilling those responsibilities must be done harmoniously,” Kim explains. “Artificial intelligence (AI) mimics human intelligence, so for robots to evolve as ritual bearers, they need to be fed a type of artificial intelligence that can mimic humans’ ability to recognize and perform teamwork, and a machine can learn that ability. in different ways.”
Kim admits that some will question why robots should be treated with respect in the first place. “To the extent that we make robots in our image, if we don’t treat them well as subjects capable of participating in rituals, we demean ourselves,” he suggests.
Various non-natural entities, such as corporations, are considered persons and even assume some constitutional rights. Additionally, humans are not the only species with moral and legal status; In many developed societies, ethical and legal considerations prevent researchers from using animals for laboratory experiments for free.