Sunday, December 24, 2006

Robots Are Not Going To Demand Legal Rights

There are some government sponsored reports that really make you laugh. Unfortunately you then realise that we are bloody paying for them. This article from the BBC gives a prime example.

"Robots could one day demand the same citizen's rights as humans, according to a study by the British government. If granted, countries would be obligated to provide social benefits including housing and even 'robo-healthcare', the report says."

This idea is pure, unadulterated rubbish. Robots will not be demanding rights in 20-50 years if ever. As one internet commentator put it "My roomba can barely find it's way out from under a chair, much less petition for a revised Emancipation Proclamation." In any event, if robots demand rights then we can deal with it at the time. What is the government possibly going to put in place in case this happens?

To put the current state of robotics into perspective, the Toyota robot (shown above) fell over at a recent public event. Unfortunately, it isn't able to get back up again on its own. I suppose it could be offered the same rights as the morbidly obese - they suffer from similar issues.