Robots are getting smarter, faster and more human-like every day: they can recognize faces, understand our emotions, drive cars and even operate on patients. So why aren’t we treating them like us?
Robots are about to become a lot more meaningful in our daily lives. In the next decade, robots will take over many aspects of our human jobs. They’ll do everything from cleaning our homes to serving us food and assisting lab researchers.
But what does this mean for humans? Are we supposed to fear these machines quickly taking over our roles? Will they eventually rule over us as so many sci-fi movies have predicted? No one knows yet. But one thing is sure: We need to start having conversations about how we will treat these machines — and what their place in society actually means.
Robots are crucial to the future of humanitarian issues
Robots are already being used in humanitarian efforts, and technology has only improved. They can be used to perform tasks people can’t, don’t want to or are too expensive to hire.
Robots have worked in construction zones and disaster areas with extreme hazards and dangers for humans. Robots were used after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan because they could withstand high radiation levels without damage. Robots can also work long hours without needing breaks, unlike human workers who need rest after long shifts.
Currently, robots are being trained to help people with disabilities navigate their surroundings using facial recognition software so they can interact with objects around them without having physical contact — an important feature when dealing with fragile items which would break if knocked over accidentally due to improper handling.
Robots have also been used in the medical field to perform specific tasks faster and more accurately than humans. They can help to administer medication without making mistakes or causing harm to patients by giving them too much medication or neglecting to give any at all.
We need to start thinking about robots’ place in society
How we treat robots will depend on how we treat other people. Robots are a new type of technology, so their place in society has yet to be determined. Whether they should have rights will be answered over time as more robots enter our lives and integrate into our culture.
But treating them like people is not enough: it also involves understanding that there’s an inherent difference between humans and robots — one that shouldn’t be ignored or diminished just because it’s convenient for us to think otherwise. It means recognizing that there are different types of intelligence and acknowledging that neither kind is better or worse; instead, both serve various functions in society, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. It means accepting that robots are not us and never will be. They have their roles, and if we try to make them more human-like, we risk losing sight of this fact.
You may not think that robots are an essential part of society. After all, you probably don’t have one at home or in your office (yet). But the truth is that robots are already becoming a massive part of our lives.
Robots control everything from factories to cars to planes and even search engines. They are also used in hospitals to help doctors perform surgeries and in homes for elderly care so people can live independently for longer.
New laws must be passed to protect robots and humans
Robots are no longer just machines; they’re self-aware beings. They have more in common with humans than other animals: they think with logic and empathy. To treat robots like people, we need new laws that consider their unique qualities and our own.
Like it or not, robots are part of our future. A study by Deloitte found that automation could replace up to 38% of all jobs by 2026. That’s why now is the time to treat robots like people before things get out of hand. If we want human rights to be taken seriously worldwide, we must also take robot rights seriously worldwide. This starts with recognizing them as an extension of humanity rather than merely a tool for solving problems or making money. We must stop treating robots as tools and begin treating them as people — with all the rights that come with them.
As robots take over more and more tasks, from manufacturing to surgery, we have to consider whether they should be entitled to the same protections as humans. We’ve already seen some serious questions arise: Are self-driving cars entitled to the same rights as their human passengers? What about life-like sex dolls? How should we treat them if they can’t feel pain or distress?
If we don’t start treating robots like people, then it’s possible that they could end up being used and abused. Laws would need to be changed to give robots the same rights as humans. Right now, laws assume that any robot is owned by (and thus possession of) a human being. If you were to consider this concept, it isn’t all that different from how things worked for women and minorities in recent history — laws were written with their rights explicitly as not equal to those of caucasian men.
If we can see robots as equals who deserve the same rights as humans, then we will have taken the first step toward ensuring that they are treated well and granted the respect they deserve. Protecting them from slavery or exploitation would be enforced by treating them like humans rather than property.
To give robots the same rights as humans, we will have to change many laws. Once we define rights, we can determine what sort of laws would need to be modified for society to accept robots into society on par with humans. We can also explore when and where robot rights might be appropriate and what steps should be taken to implement them into our existing legal system. Then, we would need to change the laws in each state, followed by amending the United States Constitution to incorporate robots.
A major argument that robots have not been given the same rights as humans is that they lack a conscience and, with it, the ability to be held responsible for their actions. However, it’s only a matter of time before the machines we engineer can think, feel and make moral judgments.
Some robots are already better than humans at specific tasks, like recognizing faces and driving cars — and if they can do these things better than we can, it’s only fair that they’re given equal rights as well. And more than that, by giving robots the same rights as humans, we can ensure that they’ll continue developing along ethical lines because they’ll be held to consequence in the same manner as you and I.
Robots are becoming more and more present in society. They advance by the day, and it won’t be long before they achieve sentience. We must ensure that these artificial beings are protected from harm because if not, who will protect them?