Argument Against Giving Robots Rights

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Robots have become a major controversial point of discussion in the contemporary World, due to the advantages it has brought. A robot is generally described as a machine which is controlled and programmed by a computer. They are usually able to perform a complicated series of tasks automatically. Due to their importance in the modern World, many people have disagreed on the fact on whether robots deserve the same rights as human beings has. Robot rights are encouraged by some lawyers where the later argue that people ought to possess some form of moral obligations to the robotic machines (Cuthbertson). Some of these rights include; ability to carry out its functions, the right to exist, among other rights which are crucial to human beings. However, the nature of this manuscript involves arguing against issuance of robotic rights due to several reasons discussed in this report.

The “frame problem,” is a tricky problem which is faced in Artificial Intelligence, which advocates for the need to not providing robotic rights to the machines (3). The problem is explained by the fact that robotic machines have no emotions and therefore, most of their judgment might be immoral and impaired. An example of a situation which requires moral considerations, the knowledge, and beliefs is provided which proves then “frame problem.” For instance, under a philosophical problem which occurs in the real World, cognitive abilities are required by the humans to make rational decisions which would benefit the whole society at large. Beliefs and knowledge as mentioned before would be used in making conclusions for solving the problem unlike the robotic machines, which suffer the frame problem. It means that they would make judgments that would be impaired based on principles leading to even unnecessary losses which would be very unnecessary and saddening.

Consequently, selective attention and information of a specific nature retrieval are crucial which robotic machines don’t have. For example, experiences are created by emotions, and these experiences are very vital in making decisions that might save the World from a particular situation for example. Once emotions are triggered by a human, certain situations which require the same experience as the one triggering the emotions are remembered quickly, and therefore the solution to a certain problem obtained. Robotic machines on the other hand, no matter how many missions they, have, they will never have the aspect of experience due to their lack of emotions which create the experiences (Megill). Giving them the right to missions and life will greatly endanger the human species which is very wrong. How can we create our means of death? After giving Sophia the robot rights equal to, the human in Saudi Arabia, she was asked if she would wipe the entire human race and her response to the question was that she would kill the human race (Cuthbertson).

The civilian population will be greatly damaged once the laws of robotic machines are approved in different countries as Saudi Arabia did. Robotic rights will lead to unnecessary wars which would have been avoided if humans were considered in war decisions. The robot would go to war without the engaging countries being at immediate risks (2). The threshold to war is passed when no negotiations can be made between countries as both the participants of the war want to see their country maintain its resources and lives of its military force. Once the laws are passed, terrorists might also take advantage of this and will inflict pain and damage on the greater civilian populations without being traced back to them. Therefore, as much as artificial intelligence is required in progressing the fighting and weaponry region for many countries, greater risks are still in motion when applying these robotics, and an immediate motion of the refusal of passing robotic rights should be enhanced. The discussed point is the main reason why countries like Japan and Germany have not yet given robotic rights since they cannot give machines the right to decide on whether a human should die or live.  That is the right of a human, and it should not be conveyed to machines in no circumstances. Majority of people tend to agree with this notion, which is also in support of the thesis of this paper.

The moral responsibility of robotics is the other factor to be considered when passing the laws of robots. There are two categories of moral responsibilities. They include libertarianism and determinism. The latter refers to a scenario that all activities are predetermined, and therefore there is no free will concept while the former refers that scenarios are not determined and are left for the free will of the people.  In the light of this, robots made under this moral responsibility have no issue (Ashrafian, Pg. 3). However, robots made on the deterministic view of social responsibility will be dictators and will therefore only act based on what was programmed in them. For instance, if they were only programmed to obtain a competitive edge in a war, they would neglect the well-being of the other fighters involved in the war who were fighting for their country when injured which is a scenario which real soldiers cannot do due to their moral responsibility for each other. Unless a way would be engaged in which will ensure that the robots have moral responsibilities, robotic rights should not be passed until a way is obtained which will make them perform on their free will and not on the laws of physics programmed in them.

According to the article authored by Ashrafian, researches have not delved into how robots interact with one another. It is not predictable, therefore, on how robots might interact with one another, and the humans at large (6). The violence of robots might lead to both emotional and psychological problems for humans which is not desired at all by those who made the robots to even start with. Due to this unpredicted behavior which robots might have on themselves and the humans at large, their rights should not be passed until comprehensive research is done on their abilities and activities.

As it has been discussed earlier, Sophia declared to start war against the human race. However, if the robotic rights are offered to these machines, they could be able to live harmoniously with human beings and stop waging war against us. The war can be described to be already on, due to loss of jobs by the human race, since robotic machines are necessary in organisations that are highly automated (Whyman). The only way to end this competition as put by many debaters, is to give them equal rights to life and the right to mission. Others argue that giving the machines rights would be a very effective way to be able to control their activities just like the human activities are controlled by their rights. However, I tend to disagree since it is not yet scientifically proven that they can follow any rules as artificial intelligence has discovered a way to make the robots act on their own will. So, if their intention was to wipe the entire human race, they will do so despite being given the rights.


According to the points which have been explained in the above report, it is indeed true that passing the notion of robotic rights is too risky for the civilian population at large. More future research should be made in this field to ensure that the necessary development is made which would make the robots less dangerous to human life. Scientists should be able to develop a way which might control the moral responsibility of the robots. Emotions is another concept which has proved to be so effective as to why the laws would not be passed. Emotions are the main difference between humans and robots. The area should be improved if there is the need for robotic rights approval.

Works Cited

Ashrafian, Hutan. "AIonAI: A Humanitarian Law of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics." AlonAl (2013): 13.

Ashrafian, Hutan. "Artificial Intelligence and Robot Responsibilities: Innovating Beyond Rights." Artificial Intelligence (2014): 11.

Cuthbertson, Anthony. Robots will have civil rights by 2045, claims creator of 'I will destroy humans' android. 2018 May. October 2018.

Garner, Tony. "Ethics of artificial intelligence." Robotics (2015): 5.

Megill, Jason. "Emotion, Cognition and Artificial Intelligence." Emotion Cognition (2012): 12.

Whyman, Tom. Giving Robots Human Rights Could Stop Them Destroying Us. January 2017. October 2018.

September 11, 2023
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