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AI & SOCIETY

pp 1–15 | Cite as

What do we owe to intelligent robots?

  • John-Stewart Gordon
Open Forum
  • 339 Downloads

Abstract

Great technological advances in such areas as computer science, artificial intelligence, and robotics have brought the advent of artificially intelligent robots within our reach within the next century. Against this background, the interdisciplinary field of machine ethics is concerned with the vital issue of making robots “ethical” and examining the moral status of autonomous robots that are capable of moral reasoning and decision-making. The existence of such robots will deeply reshape our socio-political life. This paper focuses on whether such highly advanced yet artificially intelligent beings will deserve moral protection (in the form of being granted moral rights) once they become capable of moral reasoning and decision-making. I argue that we are obligated to grant them moral rights once they have become full ethical agents, i.e., subjects of morality. I present four related arguments in support of this claim and thereafter examine four main objections to the idea of ascribing moral rights to artificial intelligent robots.

Keywords

Artificially intelligent robots Moral status Moral rights Moral agency Full ethical agents Machine rights 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.

Funding

This research is funded by the European Social Fund according to the activity ‘Improvement of researchers’ qualification by implementing world-class R&D projects of Measure No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Social Critique, Faculty of Political Science and DiplomacyVytautas Magnus UniversityKaunasLithuania

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