What rights should robots have?
Saudi Arabia recently announced that they have granted citizenship to Sophia, a robot created by Hanson Robotics. This came as a surprise to most because a female robot which does not wear a hijab has been granted citizenship in a country where women were granted the right to drive only recently and where children of Saudi Arabian women who are married to foreigners do not get citizenship.
But this move does raise an important question. What does it mean for a robot to be a citizen of a country? What are Sophia's rights and responsibilities?
In my quest to find out more about what robot rights means, I stumbled upon a few articles with very interesting perspectives, which I am presenting as a potpourri below.
What is clear from these articles is that, even though there are conflicting viewpoints, robot rights is NOT a trivial issue. While I agree with Kate Darling's view that mistreating a robot has the potential to lead to other destructive behavior, I can also see Bryson's view that being able to "buy" a citizen does not send the right message. The legal implications that corporate entities may be entitled to by granting robots personhood will also need further clarification. I am hoping we have more clarity around these soon.