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School of Law

Professor Richard Ashcroft featured in winter 2015 edition of New Humanist


Advances in design are creating robots that look, and behave, increasingly like humans but, asks the New Humanist, is that a good thing? The advent of genuine androids or replicants has the potential to spark an existential crisis for us humans. To achieve a robot that could pass flawlessly as human would prove something about robotics and prosthetics. It would also disprove something about humans. We would be clearly shown to be imitable, and our ability to recognise each other as human would undergo a revaluation. “We want to try to build robots like us to see whether we can or whether we can’t,” said Richard Ashcroft, Professor of Bioethics at Queen Mary University of London. “That tells us something about the nature of human uniqueness.”



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