Rights for Robots? Did ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Teach Us Nothing?

I know this was published back in 2006, but after all this time, it’s still mind-boggling to know that a study examining whether robots should have rights in the future was actually sponsored by the chief scientist of the British government.

Robots and machines are now classed as inanimate objects without rights or duties but if artificial intelligence becomes ubiquitous, the report argues there may be calls for human rights to be extended to them.

It is also logical that such rights, are meted out with citizens’ duties, including voting, paying tax and compulsory military service.


I, for one, would have no problem forcing robots to pay taxes so the rest of us wouldn’t have to. (I can also imagine Republicans in the future complaining that all robots need to pay their fair share, not just the ones with the most parts.)

Then again, forcing robots to pay my taxes would only stir the resentment that would lead that non-race of sentient non-beings to take over our nuclear weapons and wipe us out.

After watching Terminator and Battlestar Galactica, you’d think we’d have learned that lesson by now.


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