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School of Law

Robot Rights Without Human Frights

Date: 15 December 2023

The idea that artificial intelligences (AIs) may one day possess interests that deserve rights protection is increasingly finding an echo in scholarship. However, bogeyman stories aside, little attention has been devoted to how extensions of rights to AIs might affect the basic equality and rights of human beings. Dr Raffael Fasel's paper focuses on intelligent robots to argue that granting rights to them based on their individual capacities and interests runs the risk of undermining the basic equality and rights of human beings, especially vulnerable human beings. To avoid this problem, he draws on his research on animal rights to argue that, in law, rights should be extended to robots on the basis of a group to which they belong, not their individual capacities or interests. The group he proposes we should focus on is that of ‘quasi-species’, that is, groups of beings who lack a biological species, but who resemble each other more than they resemble members of other groups and cannot be further subdivided.

Respondent: Joshua Gellers, University of North Florida

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