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Is An Android Property?

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It should have rights because the basis of man's rights is A=A. What is man? It is a being possessing a rational conciousness and the ability to focus its mind. If the machine can do this, it should have rights, regardless of any difficulties with locomotion. One of the previous posters on this topic said that if it cannot pursue values because it it can't move, then it is not human; how is this different from a person with muscular attrophy or congenital amputation of his/her limbs? If it has the mental processes, it is human; locomotion does not grant anything the title of "human".

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machines are not immortal. They are destructible like anything else.

This is something that has always bothered me here. Your average computer needs to have parts replaced after a few years, assuming you don't just buy a new one; robots are no different. Any artificially-created intelligence, at the very least, has to pursue a continuous power source and new parts as values. Even the famous immortal robot needs a power source, even if it's parts deny reality by never wearing down.

@stuzal: It won't be human. Would you call a cat a dog?

Edited by miseleigh

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Has anyone seen the movie "Bicentennial Man" with Robin Williams? In it, he plays a robot who gradually develops autonomy. He is shown beginning to value, when he starts carving sculptures at first for someone else, and then purely for his own enjoyment. As he starts choosing more of his own values, his "owner," played by Sam Neill, begins treating him as a being who has rights. He even goes so far as to fight on the "robot's" behalf for his autonomy in dealings with the company that manufactured him and with the government.

[spoilerS FOLLOW]

The way the movie ends is quite interesting. The "robot" is essentially immortal, not because he doesn't need parts, but because he himself goes to people who repair him when he breaks down. He can more or less keep replacing parts nearly forever. However, what happens is that he falls in love with a woman who is the the descendant of his original "owner." He cannot stand the idea of living immortally without her, so he undergoes a procedure that gives him a human lifespan complete with aging and a death whose exact timing cannot be predicted.

When I saw the final scene of the movie, where he dies, I thought of Ayn Rand's immortal robot argument that such a creature could not value. In this movie, it is as if he deliberately gave up immortality so that he could *value.* Having a finite life made things *valuable.*

Anyway, the type of entity depicted in the movie, because he had volition and pursued values in an autonomous manner, clearly has rights. In fact, in the final scene an official government body finally reaches that conclusion.

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Has anyone seen the movie "Bicentennial Man" with Robin Williams?

I always hated that final self destructive choice. Andrew put "being seen as human by others" on the top of his values, and got what one gets when one chooses second handedness: death. Only from an altruist or self-sacrificial point of view can his choice be seen as noble. From my point of view, its just insane.

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Just to clarify: it wasn't an androidette, but a human woman from the crew who was killed a while back.

I think volition has to be all or nothing. One of the conditions of recognizing the rights of a robot is that the robot is fully capable of respecting the rights of others. If he cannot but help himself from turning into a mindless marauder at his creator's command, he simply doesn't qualify for being able to respect rights.

On a different note, there was actually an episdoe of Star Trek The Next Generation where this exact problem was confronted. "Data", the android on the ship, was discovered by the ship's crew and became a crew member. Later, a scientist comes and wants to take him away to dissamble him to learn how to create more advanced androids. They end up having a trial about whether or not Data is the property of Star Fleet. If I remember correctly, they ended up saying he had rights not because he had volition, but because he had "feelings" (apparently he once had a romantic encounter with an androidette).

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Just to clarify: it wasn't an androidette, but a human woman from the crew who was killed a while back.

Its Startrek, they'd give it rights if it had a pet rock to which it acted in a way they think looks affectionate.

Regardless of weather or not it chose to do so.

Also just to clarify: a female android is called a gynoid :)

Edited by FrolicsomeQuipster

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