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Society must decide if it 'will accept relationships between humans and robots'
11-18-2009, 07:56 PM,
Society must decide if it 'will accept relationships between humans and robots'
Quote:Rapid advances in technology mean cyborgs, or human-like robots, are no longer a vision of a distant future.

The machines have been made famous by films like Terminator and Blade Runner but real life is increasingly catching up with fiction. Earlier this year researchers announced they had created robot ‘scientists’ – complete with the ability to think for themselves.

As the machines become more sophisticated, they will increasingly seem more like humans and could demand ‘human rights’, Anna Russel, from the University of San Diego warns.

One of the flashpoints could be over relationships, including sexual relationships, with humans, she claims.

In an article titled “Blurring the love lines” she warns: “While this humanoid is a giant leap forward technologically, if a self-aware, super-intelligent, thinking, feeling humanoid is developed, the legal system will be hard-pressed to distinguish this creature legally from human actors on grounds not stemming from a religious or moral prejudice.”

Lawyers have to start thinking now about what rights should be accorded to cyborgs, she argues.

Most societies will want to regulate such relationships but Russel claims they have to prepare themselves for how they would respond if the cyborgs clamoured for sexual freedoms.

As the technology improves “it will be inevitable that legal issues would be raised and the love lines blurred,” she warns.

“In what way would such sexual activities be regulated, however, and how regulation would work is not clear.”
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