Robot Rights

Robot Rights

by David J. Gunkel

Hardcover

$35.00
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, February 24
MARKETPLACE
9 New & Used Starting at $24.41

Overview

A provocative attempt to think about what was previously considered unthinkable: a serious philosophical case for the rights of robots.

We are in the midst of a robot invasion, as devices of different configurations and capabilities slowly but surely come to take up increasingly important positions in everyday social reality—self-driving vehicles, recommendation algorithms, machine learning decision making systems, and social robots of various forms and functions. Although considerable attention has already been devoted to the subject of robots and responsibility, the question concerning the social status of these artifacts has been largely overlooked. In this book, David Gunkel offers a provocative attempt to think about what has been previously regarded as unthinkable: whether and to what extent robots and other technological artifacts of our own making can and should have any claim to moral and legal standing.

In his analysis, Gunkel invokes the philosophical distinction (developed by David Hume) between “is” and “ought” in order to evaluate and analyze the different arguments regarding the question of robot rights. In the course of his examination, Gunkel finds that none of the existing positions or proposals hold up under scrutiny. In response to this, he then offers an innovative alternative proposal that effectively flips the script on the is/ought problem by introducing another, altogether different way to conceptualize the social situation of robots and the opportunities and challenges they present to existing moral and legal systems.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262038621
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Series: The MIT Press
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,217,201
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David J. Gunkel is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Communication Technology at Northern Illinois University and the author of T he Machine Question: Critical Perspectives on AI, Robots, and Ethics , Of Remixology: Ethics and Aesthetics after Remix, both published by the MIT Press, and other books.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

1 Thinking the Unthinkable 13

1.1 Robot 14

1.1.1 Science Fiction 15

1.1.2 Indeterminate Determinations 19

1.1.3 Moving Target 22

1.1.4 Results/Summary 23

1.2 Rights 26

1.2.1 Definition 26

1.2.2 Theories of Rights 30

1.3 Robot Rights or the Unthinkable 33

1.3.1 Ridiculous Distractions 34

1.3.2 Justifiable Exclusions 38

1.3.3 Literal Marginalization 43

1.3.4 Exceptions that Prove the Rule 44

1.4 Summary 48

2 !S1→!S2: Robots Cannot Have Rights; Robots Should Not Have Rights 53

2.1 Default Understanding 53

2.2 Literally Instrumental 55

2.2.1 Being vs. Appearance 57

2.2.2 Ontology Precedes Ethics 59

2.2.3 Limited Rights 60

2.3 Instrumentalism at Work 62

2.3.1 Expertise 63

2.3.2 Robots Are Tools 64

2.3.3 Is/Ought Inference 65

2.4 Duty Now and for the Future 66

2.5 Complications, Difficulties, and Potential Problems 69

2.5.1 Tool != Machine 69

2.5.2 Not Just Tools 72

2.5.3 Ethnocentrism 75

2.6 Summary 76

3 S1→S2: Robots Can Have Rights; Robots Should Have Rights 79

3.1 Evidence, Instances, and Examples 80

3.1.1 Philosophical Arguments 80

3.1.2 Legal Arguments 88

3.1.3 Common Features and Advantages 92

3.2 Complications, Difficulties, and Potential Problems 93

3.2.1 Infinite Deferral 94

3.2.2 Is/Ought Inference 95

3.3 Summary 105

4 S1 !S2: Although Robots Can Have Rights, Robots Should Not Rights 107

4.1 The Argument 107

4.2 Complications, Difficulties, and Potential Problems 110

4.2.1 Normative Proscriptions 111

4.2.2 Ethnocentrism 115

4.2.3 Slavery 2.0 117

4.3 Summary 130

5 !S1 S2: Even If Robots Cannot Have Rights, Robots Should Have Rights 133

5.1 Arguments and Evidence 134

5.1.1 Anecdotes and Stories 134

5.1.2 Scientific Studies 135

5.1.3 Outcomes and Consequences 138

5.2 Complications, Difficulties, and Potential Problems 142

5.2.1 Moral Sentimentalism 142

5.2.2 Appearances 145

5.2.3 Anthropocentrism, or "It's Really All About Us" 150

5.2.4 Critical Problems 154

5.3 Summary 157

6 Thinking Otherwise 159

6.1 Levinas 101 160

6.1.1 A Different Kind of Difference 161

6.1.2 Social and Relational 165

6.1.3 Radically Superficial 168

6.2 Applied (Levinasian) Philosophy 170

6.2.1 The Face of the Robot 171

6.2.2 Ethics Beyond Rights 175

6.3 Complications, Difficulties, and Potential Problems 177

6.3.1 Anthropocentrism 177

6.3.2 Relativism and Other Difficulties 180

6.4 Summary 184

Notes 187

References 203

Index 235

What People are Saying About This

Endorsement

"If the report of the European Parliament only considered legal consequences of the development of robotics, Mr. Gunkel draws an accurate picture of the impact of the expansion of robots in our social relationships. Going beyond usual stereotypes of science fiction, this book is a deep reflection on how we want to shape our future, which place we want to assign to robots and how we want to deal with them in our daily lives. It is not simply about what kind of robots we want in our society but also about what kind of human we want to be."

Mady Delvaux-Stehres, Luxemburgish S&D Member of the European Parliament

From the Publisher

“Robots are a new kind of entity, not quite alive and yet something more than machines. Gunkel's book dissects the question of whether robots should have rights from every angle, setting the stage for what may become the most important ethical debate of this century. ”

Tony Prescott , Professor of Cognitive Robotics, University of Sheffield

"If the report of the European Parliament only considered legal consequences of the development of robotics, Mr. Gunkel draws an accurate picture of the impact of the expansion of robots in our social relationships. Going beyond usual stereotypes of science fiction, this book is a deep reflection on how we want to shape our future, which place we want to assign to robots and how we want to deal with them in our daily lives. It is not simply about what kind of robots we want in our society but also about what kind of human we want to be. "

Mady Delvaux-Stehres , Luxemburgish S&D Member of the European Parliament

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews