Sir, – Your editorial “Can a robot sin?” (January 14th) worries too much about robots and artificial intelligence AI.
We are no nearer to creating intelligent androids than we are to inventing warp drive.
Granted, designing decision making algorithms for driverless cars brings technical and ethical challenges. There is also the danger that the increased automation made possible by robotics will continue to be seen by some as a means of increasing their wealth, rather than improving society.
But this is a far cry from the science-fiction scenario of robots taking over the world, which apparently is the subject of one report to this week’s World Economic Forum.
There are plenty of real threats to the survival of our species, but robots aren’t one of them.
Most surprising of all is that a report from the legal affairs committee of the European Parliament contains the ludicrous recommendation that “legal personhood” be created for robots and AI. The technology is complex and impressive, but it is not self-aware. The most advanced AI system has more in common with the control system in a basic fridge than with human intelligence.
If we want to extend more rights to non-humans, elephants, chimps and dolphins have real rather than artificial intelligence, and have far greater claim to “personhood” than robots. – Yours, etc,