Oxford University Professor Predicts Robots May Get Human Rights One Day

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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An Oxford University professor predicts that robots may one day demand the same rights as humans, The UK Telegraph reports.

“It’s getting to a point where we will might be able to say this thing has a sense of itself and maybe there is a threshold moment where suddenly this consciousness emerges,” Marcus du Sautoy, an Oxford University professor for the Public Understanding of Science, said Sunday at the Hay Literary Festival in England.

“The fascinating thing is that consciousness for a decade has been something that nobody has gone anywhere near because we didn’t know how to measure it,” Du Sautoy explained. “And if we understand these things are having a level of consciousness are we might well have to introduce rights. It’s an exciting time.”

In March, Hanson Robotics introduced a robot head named Sophia that was designed to look human.

“She has cameras in her eyes and algorithms which allow her to see faces so she can make eye contact with you,” Dr. David Hanson told CNBC. “She also understands speech, and remembers the interactions. This will allow her to get smarter over time.”

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has expressed his concern about artificial intelligence (A.I.).

“I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent,” Gates warned in a Reddit AMA talk last year. “That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that, though, the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”

Professor Stephen Hawking and innovator Elon Musk also continue to be cautious about A.I.

“Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history,” Hawking wrote in an op-ed, which appeared in The Independent in 2014. “Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. In the near term, world militaries are considering autonomous-weapon systems that can choose and eliminate targets.”

Hawking also said in a 2014 interview with BBC, “humans, limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and would be superseded by A.I.”

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