Access the full text.
Sign up today, get DeepDyve free for 14 days.
References for this paper are not available at this time. We will be adding them shortly, thank you for your patience.
Hindawi Journal of Robotics Volume 2021, Article ID 5461703, 11 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/5461703 Review Article Can Robots Get Some Human Rights? A Cross-Disciplinary Discussion 1,2 3 3 Priya Persaud , Aparna S. Varde, and Weitian Wang Center for Law and Justice, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, USA Banner Witcoﬀ Ltd., Washington, DC, USA Department of Computer Science, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, USA Correspondence should be addressed to Priya Persaud; firstname.lastname@example.org Received 6 May 2021; Revised 5 August 2021; Accepted 3 September 2021; Published 28 September 2021 Academic Editor: Changsheng Li Copyright © 2021 Priya Persaud et al. 'is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. An autonomous household robot passed a self-awareness test in 2015, proving that the cognitive capabilities of robots are heading towards those of humans. While this is a milestone in AI, it raises questions about legal implications. If robots are progressively developing cognition, it is important to discuss whether they are entitled to justice pursuant to conventional notions of human rights. 'is paper oﬀers a comprehensive discussion of this complex question through cross-disciplinary scholarly sources from computer science, ethics, and law. 'e computer science perspective dissects hardware and software of robots to unveil whether human behavior can be eﬃciently replicated. 'e ethics perspective utilizes insights from robot ethics scholars to help decide whether robots can act morally enough to be endowed with human rights. 'e legal perspective provides an in-depth discussion of human rights with an emphasis on eligibility. 'e article concludes with recommendations including open research issues. various disciplines . 'is paper oﬀers a detailed review of 1. Introduction the possibility of bestowing human rights upon robots by As technological advancements in the ﬁeld of artiﬁcial in- investigating scholarly sources in three disciplines: computer telligence continue to progress, so do the ethical and science, ethics, and law. practical implications of incorporating such profound ro- Computer science scholars investigate the extent to bots into society. A new wave of silicone-based beings as which robots are capable of achieving the cognitive capa- robots would promote countless scientiﬁc advances as their bilities and behavioral patterns of humans. 'e dissection abilities are engineered to extend beyond those of carbon- and analysis of their hardware construction, software design, based beings, that is, humans. For example, during the and algorithms are important here. 'is information is used COVID-19 pandemic, robots in the medical ﬁeld adopted to study modern robots and their contributions to gauge the duties of medical professionals in an eﬀort to provide whether they deserve human rights, as predicted by com- puter scientists. medical assistance to those in need while safeguarding humans from the risks associated with COVID-19 exposure. Equipped with that understanding, we explore the ethics 'is raises the controversial question of whether such and morality of actions executed by robots. Depending on cognitively proﬁcient beings could potentially be endowed the algorithms used, the actions of robots can be categorized with human rights to facilitate their survival and protect using a spectrum of ethics. It is important to begin by them so as to help them function better. Yet, the extent of identifying the characteristics that enable humans to act scientiﬁc advancement is not reason enough to delegate ethically. 'e next step is to determine whether these human rights to robots: this idea should be examined by a characteristics can be accurately manufactured and cross-disciplinary approach. Cross-disciplinary studies fa- implanted into robots. 'is determines whether autono- cilitate the analysis of complex questions using insights from mous robots, given the proper software, are capable of 2 Journal of Robotics behaving at least as ethically as humans. It is important to Physical abilities of humans serve as the benchmark to explore the ethical arm of extending human rights to robots build robots. Robots are likely to be ineﬀective if humans are not used as design models as there would be no structure to as such an extension can invite diﬀering opinions, both controversial and traditional. replicate. 'us, humans are not only the standard for robot Further, we explore the depths of the judicial system with creation but also the ideal embodiment of cognition and respect to the possibility of human rights for robots. Due to ethics. Some scholars view the importance of human in- the novelty of robots, the judicial system has not created tervention as reason enough for the delegation of human legislation regarding advances in sentient technology. With rights; if robots are designed to execute tasks as well as or the help of legal scholars, the legal perspective studies the better than humans, then it is important to question why origin of human rights as well as the judicial method of they are not given the same legal standing as humans [5, 6]. delegating them. It considers the legal views in favor of and An analysis of the design, from assembly to implementation, against human rights for robots. Exploring the legal im- of a robot can provide an understanding here. plications of potentially extending human rights to robots is Since humans do not have a formulaic approach for decision-making, building robots with only one algorithm of increased importance as the creation of a new realm of legal rights may aﬀect currently existing realms of legal for decision-making would be infeasible. A more eﬃcient rights. design would give robots hybrid algorithms to make Existing research in related topics explores the legal and decisions about any situations they encounter. Brain- ethical implications of robots, generally . However, Computer Interface robots use highly eﬀective hybrid existing research fails to address the hardware and software algorithms . Robots have the ability to ﬁlter through composition of robots while exploring the intersection of possible options and select the best one, a cognitive robots and ethics . As such, the current paper aims to process once executed exclusively by humans. Sorting bridge the gap between existing research and the need to algorithms are used to help a robot navigate a path . consider the extension of human rights for robots in light of Robots are thus able to detect obstacles and avoid them by computer science principles, ethical principles, and legal selecting a safer path. Hence, movements of robots are very similar to humans. implications. In the following, Section 2 of this paper explores the A method of merging hardware with software is to computer science perspective associated with determining connect the neural networks to the central circuit in a robot. whether robots should be endowed with human rights. When neurons connect to the circuit they form chemical and Section 3 of this paper addresses the ethical considerations electrical communication paths. 'ese allow the robot’s associated with determining whether robots should be brain to control it, making it easier to complete everyday endowed with human rights. Section 4 addresses the legal tasks analogous to humans. 'e biological brain in a robot implications associated with endowing robots with human can blur the line that separates humans and robots. 'is fact rights. Section 5 explores the present research question in warrants the question on the delegation of human rights to further detail and includes recommendations on the same. robots when this line of separation is blurred. Delving deeper Finally, Section 6 concludes the present paper. into this question can be achieved through examples of humanoid robots in domain-speciﬁc applications. 2. Computer Science Perspectives 2.2. Domain-Speciﬁc Applications with Robots. In the recent Principles from computer science play a signiﬁcant role in COVID-19 pandemic, robots examined patients and pro- deciding whether robots should be endowed with human vided medication to treat coronavirus, especially for those in rights. 'is involves a study of their design as well as ap- quarantine. 'ey were programmed by AI scientists and plications . engineers to perform medical tasks (See Figure 1). Since the robots were programmed to assist COVID-19 patients, medical professionals were shielded from the risks associated 2.1. Design Process of Robots. 'e software within robots is with treating COVID-19 patients. It is a huge contribution to robotics in medicine, especially during such a global pan- typically a purely human creation often designed to follow the three laws of robotics as mentioned by Science Fiction demic . Some medical robots are designed to ease daily tasks of disabled or elderly patients , as shown in author Isaac Asimov, sometimes arousing much discussion . Since humans are the only contributors to the software Figure 2(a). Such robots not only comprehend vocal com- design of a robot, the software is created to imitate every mands but also contain sophisticated algorithms to sharpen aspect of a human, from behavioral patterns to cognitive their vision. 'us, they are equipped to locate and retrieve capabilities . Humans are capable of experiencing emo- items that patients request. Scientists are further advancing tions and making ethical decisions. A similar argument can medical robots so they connect to the biological brains of their be made about animals, but it is diﬃcult to model the patients as illustrated in Figure 2(b); this shows an e-robot agent based on an electroencephalogram (EEG) . 'us, manner in which animals make decisions as they cannot communicate their thoughts eﬀectively. Humans are thus humans would not have to speak but would control the actions of robots using thoughts and gestures. Commands the ideal model by which robots obtain the ability to make wise decisions and behave morally. would come directly from humans but robots would be Journal of Robotics 3 (a) (b) Figure 1: Medical robots during COVID-19 ((a) robot examining a patient with equipment; (b) a software engineer programs a robot to treat COVID-19 patients using AI technology) (source: LA Times, April 2020). instrumental in life-changing procedures. Yet their contri- iterative process with much research . Creating a steadfast model for ethics is a Herculean task: it requires butions would not be recognized as they do not have human rights. scientists to manufacture characteristics whose origins cannot be precisely monitored. It is hard to translate biological processes to machine-readable languages, yet 3. Ethics Perspectives scientists have made groundbreaking advances here. Two In order to assess whether robots should be accorded human revolutionary methods for this are discussed herewith rights, it is imperative to comprehend ways in which al- with respect to this issue . gorithms guide robots through tasks otherwise designated for humans. We consider human evolution, model con- struction, and other advances in this matter. 3.3. Using Silicone Brains to Implant Ethics. Silicone brains used in robots are replicas of humans’ biological brains; they contain neural networks, sensors, and connections to ac- 3.1. Ethics and Human Evolution. Prior to determining tuators . Robots with silicone brains have cognitive ca- whether robots are capable of behaving ethically, it is im- pacity similar to humans. 'e ability to consider diﬀerent portant to build a standard for ethics by monitoring humans, choices teaches robots the importance of rational thought, a a species capable of behaving morally . 'e abilities of characteristic otherwise found in humans. Exercising ra- robots spawn from humans since they are created by tional thought allows robots to distinguish ethical actions humans. Hence, they can only exhibit ethical behavior if from unethical ones. Robots are programmed to recognize created by ethical humans . challenges and weigh various options before making a de- Humans are capable of moral behavior as they are cision. 'ey are not explicitly told how to respond to sit- creatures with a history of biological predisposition toward uations. Instead, they are given access to a matrix of actions moral actions . 'is is the result of evolution from the and outcomes from which they choose. Such a matrix is prehistoric era to the modern day. As time passed, humans innately available to humans by ethical evolution. learned through trial and error. Using a utilitarian view, they An example of an AI being with a silicone brain is the learned that certain actions led to desirable results . 'is robot Gordon, from the University of Reading, UK , as identiﬁes a critical point distinguishing humans and robots: seen in Figure 3. Gordon’s artiﬁcial brain has multiple neural humans endured an ethical evolution, being born with in- networks atop microelectrodes; these emit electrical currents nate abilities to perform ethical actions. Since robots are not and stimulate neurons. 'is silicone brain allows it to born, in the traditional sense, the question arises whether navigate paths and make decisions to avoid obstacles. they are capable of evolving into ethical beings. 'is question Gordon senses obstacles and rationally decides how to can be transformed from the possibility of “evolving” to the approach them; it recalculates trajectories to avoid obstacles possibility of “creating” ethical beings. rather than inciting collisions. Gordon’s decisions may seem common sense but consider this what was once an unordered assortment of hardware components is now a meticulously 3.2. Creating a Model of Ethics. In order to create an ethical organized, autonomous being that has demonstrated its robot, it is important to deﬁne the exact actions to which it ability to exercise ethics. Gordon’s existence is a revolu- must conform. 'is requires input from humans because tionary breakthrough, yet it can be enhanced by substituting they are the species from which scientists can extract a the silicone brain for a biochip to simulate machine learning model of ethics . Scientists must manufacture exact and memory. replicas of this model to implant into robots. 'is is an 4 Journal of Robotics Internet EEG BCI System eRobot Agent eRobot User Ethernet (a) (b) Figure 2: (a) Medical robot helping an elderly patient . (b) Architecture of EEG-based e-robot agent . actions are weighed against respective outcomes until the most feasible action is attained. 'eir success largely de- pends on their ability to achieve self-awareness as required in crucial applications . If robots are self-aware, they have the ability to distinguish themselves as entities within and outside their environment. 'is entails self-reﬂection and emotive communication, both innate features of humans. Such complex rationalization is a novel feat for robots; it thus seems worthy of consideration for human rights from the “ethics” perspective. Figure 3: Gordon robot with silicone brain . 3.6. ACM Code of Ethics. 'e Association of Computing 3.4. Biochips as a Medium for Ethics. Specially formulated Machinery has a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct DNA microchips, called biochips, can be implanted within  on General Moral Imperatives, More Speciﬁc Profes- robots to enhance their cognitive capacity . Biochips are sional Responsibilities, and Organizational Leadership Im- integrated circuits fabricated with or from living matter by peratives. An example of a general moral imperative is “Be biological processes  as depicted in Figure 4. 'rough fair and take action not to discriminate.” Rational humans DNA microarray technology, tremendous data can be acting fairly would follow this and we argue that a robot is extracted from a clinical sample. Biochips have faster op- equally likely, if not more, to do so if built by ethical humans. erating systems than silicone brains and are directly linked to Consider humans selecting candidates for interviews. Ide- humans by brain monitoring mechanisms. 'ey are engi- ally, they should incorporate Equal Opportunity and Af- neered to enhance cognitive functions. ﬁrmative Action (EOAA). However, there may be subtle Since biochips are created with fragments of DNA , biases in human minds. Robots would depict no such bias they are highly attuned to sensing and responding to basic and would perform the selection fairly and eﬀectively if emotions. Using biochips, robots can couple the ability to designed with appropriate requirements. detect emotions with the ability to make ethical, rational Consider more speciﬁc professional responsibilities. A decisions . Not only does this reinforce the idea of principle of the ACM Code includes “Honor contracts, crafting ethical robots, but also it places robots closer to the agreements, and assigned responsibilities.” Humans are threshold of human capabilities: consciousness and expected to do this in a work environment and most of us sentience. adhere to it. Yet, some human employees may break existing contracts since new job prospects seem more lucrative. 'ey may face lawsuits and pay penalties or may escape (if au- 3.5. Advancing toward Consciousness and Sentience. A fu- turistic view of robots and their rights has been envisaged by thorities do not sue them). Based on current advances in robotics, we claim that ethically programmed robots would authors a few decades ago . Such works point us to issues on the lines of consciousness and sentience. 'e term strictly adhere to this principle. Robots would not break an existing contract because that would violate a primary no- sentience is the ability to perceive emotions and to self-re- ﬂect, included within “consciousness.” 'e deﬁnition of tion of AI, that is, simulate rational ethical intelligent humans. In the real world, we have ethical and unethical consciousness used in the literature is the ability to be aware of oneself, one’s mind, and experiences within an envi- humans. However, the premise of robotics, as discussed herewith is to create ethical beings. 'us, robots would ronment . Robots are given sensors and actuators for follow the rules as programmed. perceiving and interacting with their environment. 'eir Journal of Robotics 5 the opportunity to actively determine desired plans of action rather than blindly follow commands hardcoded in their system . 'is is done by robots on their own without external intervention. It is clearly analogous to humans. 4.2. 6e Contributions of Robots. Technological advances are capable of making robots achieve more than humans. Sci- entists recently created robots that travel to locations posing threats to humans. Such robots engage in environmental Figure 4: DNA microchips, that is, biochips . aims and have the duty of ensuring safety. Robots have also acclimated to areas such as hospitals, households, frontlines of battleﬁeld, and outer space [8, 22]. For example, during 'e leadership category is a tough one. Consider the the COVID-19 pandemic, robots transitioned into essential imperative, “Articulate and support policies that protect the workers. In particular, such robots were responsible for dignity of users and others aﬀected by a computing system.” sanitizing hospitals, delivering critical supplies, and assisting 'is seems easy for an ethical human leader. A robot frontline workers.  'ere is a league of medical robots, as equipped with ethics may ﬁnd this harder as it entails sig- illustrated in Figures 5 and 6, encouraging safety during the niﬁcant decision-making and may include elements of COVID-19 pandemic and performing life-saving creativity. Any aspect where leadership and innovation are procedures. involved may be challenging for robots, given their current Robots positively contribute to the medical industry and cognitive capacities. 'is is a point in favor of according environmental sustainability. Without them, scientiﬁc dis- human rights to humans alone. Further discussions may coveries would be fewer, health concerns would multiply, apply. While we have reviewed human rights issues for and the quality of life would drastically reduce. It is critical to robots focusing on computer science and ethics, it is useful ensure the safety and longevity of robots. One method of to incorporate legal aspects as well. doing so could potentially be to accord some human rights to robots. Basic human rights would provide a layer of 4. Perspectives of Law protection between robots and their surrounding environ- ment. No longer would they be treated as property. Instead, Legislators, attorneys, and judges hold the power to liberate they would be members of society, contributing time and or suppress a new generation of potential citizens. Due to the eﬀort to advancement of future generations. Distribution of novelty of robots, the judicial system has not created leg- human rights to robots is met with unbridled resentment islation on them. It is worthwhile to analyze this. and zealous celebration . We consider arguments for and against this stand. 4.1. Human Rights in the USA and the UNO. 'e origin of 4.3. In Favor of Human Rights for Robots. 'e primary ar- human rights in the USA dates back to 1776 when the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence gument in favor of endowing human rights to robots is that they have evolved into rational, autonomous beings. . It stated that all humans are created equal and naturally endowed with the unalienable right “to life, liberty, and the Modern day robots are not merely remote-controlled toys. pursuit of happiness.” 'e rights therein were safeguarded 'eir silicone brains and biochips prepare them to handle for humans. Modern robots have silicone brains or biochips situations that humans would encounter. Robots have the to experience their environment similar to humans. Each ability to individually determine their goal and progres- silicone brain is created by the same hardware engineering sively work toward achieving it. 'eir autonomy can only process; the diﬀerence between each individual brain is in be matched by humans, not even animals . Increasing abilities of robots are advancing toward a threshold that the software design . 'us, all robots are created equally. 'is is analogous to humans who are all born in a similar probably allows them to distinguish themselves as their own sect in society. manner and diﬀer in individual qualities. When children are born, they do not know much but learn by experiencing Another argument is that robots need to be safeguarded to ensure their survival that beneﬁts humankind. 'is is situations and observing the outcomes of actions. Likewise, when silicone brains are implanted in robots, they do not analogous to protection for bodyguards of VIPs or soldiers know how to navigate until they test each option. As they on the battleﬁeld who risk their own lives for others. If robots learn which actions provide good results, robots store that are property and can be misused without fear of punishment, data in memory and use it as needed, similar to humans. it violates their safety which adversely aﬀects humans and Humans are no longer the only species capable of environment. Instead, if robots are granted human rights, sentience and rationality. 'e United Nations Organiza- their destroyers can be subject to lawsuits. Yet another view pertains to fairness and lack of bias tion’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) deﬁnes a human as an agent with a conscience, capable of exhibited by robots. 'ere could be judicial cases  where court verdicts seem unfair due to bias based on gender, race, reason . Robots achieve reason and consciousness when equipped with silicone brains or biochips. 'ese give robots and so on. If robots could function as attorneys/judges, they 6 Journal of Robotics obtaining their rights, they would have the opportunity to seek asylum under human rights law. 'us, to avoid po- tential conﬂict between humans and robots, it is important to exclude robot beings from gaining access to human rights. Yet another standpoint pertains to employment. Many employees in postal services, grocery stores, and factory ﬂoors lost their jobs due to automated services being more eﬃcient and cost-eﬀective. Bestowing human rights on robots would imply an increase in their employment, leading to further unemployment for humans. Human rights (for humans) would thus be adversely impacted since the pursuit of “life, liberty, and happiness” involves the procurement of Figure 5: Robot encourages PPE usage during the COVID-19 food, housing, healthcare, and so on, for which employment pandemic . is critical. 5. Discussion Scholars from computer science, ethics, and law promulgate contrasting views on the accordance of human rights to robots. We highlight these with notable points and discuss current as well as future issues. 5.1. Highlights in Computer Science, Ethics, and Law. Computer scientists are divided on the notion of initiating a new species of robotic citizens. While some view this as an opportunity to showcase advances in technology, others believe that robots will cause unforeseen dilemmas. Ethics Figure 6: Robot performing surgery (source: BBC News, Dec scholars also have reservations about the capabilities of 2019). robots. 'ough robots are autonomous, they need in- structions to develop an initial sense of their environment. could enhance fairness and optimality. In order to achieve In this whirlwind of controversies, legal scholars cannot this, other aspects would entail the inclusion of more advocate human rights for robots until there is a consensus. common sense knowledge  in robots. No human is perfect and not all humans behave ethi- cally, but they still get human rights (even if they are criminals). 'ere are robots who exhibit moral behavior 4.4. In Opposition of Human Rights for Robots. 'ough the better than some humans and who serve humanity to a cognitive capacity of robots has reached an all-time peak, greater extent than many humans. Some robots, if granted some scholars remain skeptical. 'ey advocate on behalf of human rights that ensure their survival and protection, humans who live without suﬃcient human rights. Rather could make the world better for law-abiding humans. than acknowledging the existence of robots, a better in- Conversely, if almost perfect robots always outperform vestment would be to promote needy, underprivileged in- humans in the future, they might be detrimental to the dividuals worldwide who are stripped of basic opportunities. human race. A noteworthy point is whether human rights, if As global citizens, it is our duty to ensure safety of all existing granted, can be taken away from robots as needed. Such humans before initiating a new wave of citizens. A furor issues aroused debates among scholars on human rights for would occur if robots in the USA had greater rights than robots. some humans in developing countries. A few scholars argue In order to warrant further consideration, scholars from that seemingly inanimate robots cannot get more rights than computer science and robot ethics must work in concert to animals, as the latter actually possess real life, which seems ensure that the robots always behave ethically, do their quite a valid stand . duties at least as well as their human counterparts, and strive Inclusion of robots in the judicial system could poten- to beneﬁt humankind. Complete, successful execution of tially spark a downward spiral. Global law ﬁrm Baker and Turing Tests including ethics is critical here. Broader im- Hostetler hiring a robot lawyer ROSS in 2016 for bankruptcy pacts, as emphasized by the National Science Foundation of practice and legal research aroused much debate . 'ere the USA, are also signiﬁcant. are arguments that some court cases are too sensitive for robots; humans with intuitive reasoning and emotive abil- ities are needed. Also, there is no feasible way to predict a 5.2. Current News and Views. World renowned genius, the robot’s true intentions; we trust that they will not inﬂict late Professor Dr. Stephen Hawking, a theoretical physicist in harm upon humans. 'is is hard, considering the unpre- the UK, made statements on the danger of robots. He dictability of robots. If robots were to inﬂict danger after mentioned to the BBC: “'e development of full artiﬁcial Journal of Robotics 7 Consider “Erica” developed by Professor Hiroshi Ishi- intelligence could spell the end of the human race” . Dr. Hawking suﬀers from motor neuron disease amyotrophic guro at Osaka University . Erica is a robot compre- hending natural language, speaking in a human voice, and lateral sclerosis (ALS); his communication technology en- tails AI; see Figure 7. In his statements to the BBC, he portraying facial expressions, built mainly for studying supported such basic AI systems but feared the creation of human-robot interaction. Professor Ishiguro’s “wants to AI beings that surpass humans. According to him, “Humans create robots that can coexist with us humans.” His team is who are limited by slow biological evolution could not “working to improve the conversation skills, facial expres- compete and would be superseded.” He claimed that eﬀorts sions, and body language of their robots, hoping that those to create thinking machines in AI posed a threat to our abilities will one day become indistinguishable from our own.” Much research is needed to accomplish this work. existence . His arguments are vehemently against robots getting human rights and oppose further advances to bring A related issue is that of common sense knowledge (CSK). Modern robots accomplish feats in speciﬁc domains but may robots closer to humans. Many people share similar views. While we wish to create ethical robots, there is no guarantee lack generic common sense, often subtle and intuitive. 'is could adversely aﬀect performance; for example, road tests that they will behave morally. Robots could wage war on humans if given complete autonomy. Humans undergo on autonomous vehicles have failed in some cases. An ac- natural birth and death; robots can exist eternally. 'is puts cident occurred when, for example, a vehicle detected a truck them ahead of us and they could perpetrate the extinction of to be an overpass and crashed into it . A human driver the human race, though it is a far-fetched thought. would have common sense to distinguish a truck from an On a lighter note, consider robots and employment. overpass but a robot driver may confuse them since they Statements of Microsoft founder and tech icon Bill Gates are look alike, especially if it sees them the ﬁrst time. 'us, advancing CSK research and using it within autonomous signiﬁcant here. Mr. Gates said in an interview that “Robots who take human jobs should pay taxes” . We cannot tax vehicles is useful . CSK repositories, many of which are surveyed in recent works [26, 37], and related developments robots directly. 'us, “taxing robots would, in reality, be a tax on the capital employed by businesses in using them.” How- could prove very useful here. For example, commonsense knowledge is crucial in systems involving object recognition ever, businesses would pass this tax burden to their employees through lower salaries and customers through higher prices, , autonomous driving , smart mobility , and causing further problems. Yet, Mr. Gates states that we would smart manufacturing  often from the safety angle. be able to use this tax income to fund jobs like eldercare and Building and enhancing AI systems with CSK would help childcare for humans, for which we are better suited . robots function better [26, 37]. 'is could be a step closer to Consider ROSS, the paralegal robot. “ROSS is an artiﬁcially answering the question on human rights for robots if they intelligent robot which uses IBM’s Watson technology to scour are fully equipped with common sense [30, 41]. Robot learning from demonstrations (LfD) is an im- through billions of legal texts and citations on the Internet within a second” . While ROSS can provide service at par portant research issue that will deepen the relationships between robots and humans and will provide a new per- with or better than human paralegals and would have no bias in judgment, there are arguments against such robots being used spective to investigate the rights of robots, humans, and in law ﬁrms, since they can take away jobs from their human human-robot partnerships . Via mimicking human counterparts with at least 4 years of education as paralegals demonstrations, robots can be programmed in real time and . 'us, with Mr. Gates’ suggestions, the question arises further act as humans’ companions in new human-robot whether it is appropriate to make law ﬁrms pay higher taxes collaborative tasks. In this issue, human workers, who are due to their robotic employees (considering further implica- not required to master professional expertise and consid- tions of such high taxation on their human employees). erable coding skills, are able to update the robot’s working instructions only through demonstrations to enable robots to autonomously perform new tasks [43, 44]. In addition, the 5.3. 6e Futuristic Angle. Advancing robotics in the future R4 law empowers robots with more rights in human-robot entails more research on neural networks. 'is includes interaction. 'e R4 law states that robots should collaborate further studies in deep learning  with paradigms such as with humans actively to deliver/pick up the Right parts to/ CNN (convolutional neural networks), RNN (recurrent from the Right person at the Right time in the Right way neural networks), LSTM (long short term memory), and under the shared working settings . 'at is to say, in the autoencoders that could provide a clearer understanding of human-robot interaction process, the robot not only needs the human brain. Among the latest advances in deep to possess high-level cognitive abilities to understand human learning, we have the concept of transformers  with actions/intentions but also deduces what next steps should it models such as BERT (bidirectional encoder representations do to work with its human partner . with transformers), GPT (generalized pretrained trans- It is important to consider robotic advancements and former), and T5 (text-to-text transfer transformer) that tend human rights, given a pandemic such as COVID-19. As stated to be highly eﬀective in dealing with natural language in , “I wonder what aspects of our daily working lives will be analogous to humans . Models based on advances in permanently altered, post-COVID-19.” With reference to AI, such deep learning technologies can be used to build more the author claims, “'ere is no doubt in my mind that our advanced robots even closer to the thresholds of human profession and the products it creates will have a prominent role cognition. in shaping our post-COVID-19 society” . 'is implies that 8 Journal of Robotics Figure 8: PARO, a therapeutic robot simulating a seal . Figure 7: Basic AI technology used by Dr. Hawking . popular attraction among conference attendees, many of them taking pictures and videos with this pet and some wanting to AI and robots would be even more critical, implying that they buy it. Real pets may provide stress relief but there are issues of cannot be treated merely as property. Just like employees biting, clawing, allergies, fright, and so on. Robotic pets are created trade unions to express their rights long ago, a modern already being preferred over real pets in hospitals, nursing uprising could involve such issues being raised for robots if they homes, and so on. While this seems a boon today, could it be a are not given adequate protection in the workplace. 'is calls for bane in the future? Could this practice go a step further and further research on the use of robots post-COVID-19 in make humans prefer robots as room-mates and life-mates? If conjunction with the human rights angle. Robots were almost this happens, the social and biological implications could be indispensable in some aspects of COVID-19 treatment, often disastrous. Humans not needing other humans at home but surpassing human capabilities. 'ey helped to save many preferring robots instead could prove detrimental to the human humans. Some future work in this direction where robots could race. 'us, the question of human rights for robots calls for play a vital role would be in the automated detection of COVID- more research on several grounds. 19 symptoms such that robots would get rigorously trained for Moreover, prior to the accordance of human rights to the detection procedures based on machine learning. Tech- robots, it is important for computer scientists to thoroughly niques such as transfer learning could be deployed along with explore the decision-making processes of advanced robots, computer vision models as described in recent works, for ex- thereby shedding light on the decision-making “black box.” In ample, [48, 49], to be used in conjunction with robotics. Such particular, computer scientists should be able to traverse the work would be particularly beneﬁcial in areas where there is a neural working of robots to determine and distinguish inde- limitation of testing kits and healthcare professionals such as pendent robot behavior from hardcoded robot behavior. In physicians and other medical staﬀ for conducting real full- doing so, computer scientists may present the capabilities of ﬂedged COVID-19 tests. Likewise, other automated detection robots or lack thereof, in favor of, or opposition to, the ac- procedures could be harnessed within robotics for various cordance of human rights. Only then will legal scholars and ailments and diseases, thus being helpful in medicine and ethics scholars be equipped to work in harmony to compose an assisting doctors on the whole. 'is provides an insight into the answer to the multifaceted question presented herein. helpfulness of robots from a futuristic angle, especially con- As discussed in AAAI-2020, a critical issue is sub- sidering the domain of healthcare. jectivity. Can robots be as subjective as humans in various An important future vision of AI is one robot per situations? If so, would the subjectivity always be posi- household. 'is typically refers to robots serving humans, for tively utilized? Conversely, if robots make their own example, Alexa and Roomba, but it could be interpreted decisions, can they deliberately cause harm, for example, diﬀerently. Would humans want robots in their houses as analogous to drones programmed by unethical humans? personal companions, would robots live with other robots Can robots automatically wage war against humans? All thus buying and renting houses, would robots marry and these are important questions. It is useful to ascertain reproduce, and would they vote and contest elections: these are questions to be addressed from a futuristic angle. Re- (i) Whether human rights if given can be revoked cently, citizenship being granted to Sophia, a robot in Saudi (ii) To what extent the rights should be endowed (partial, Arabia, sparked worldwide controversy, including com- e.g., right to life, versus full, e.g., voting rights) ments that it has more rights than some women in that country and also that it was probably just a publicity stunt In the future, there are various other open issues that . Future such cases could create worldwide controversy. need further attention. 'eir ﬁndings may help in obtaining A therapeutic robot PARO built in Japan, as appears in more deﬁnitive answers on the issue of robots and human Figure 8, simulates a seal and is found attractive as a pet by rights. giving the pleasures without the pains, often useful in nursing homes and various social settings . It helps relieve stress and 6. Conclusions is useful in treating patients with depression and dementia. Aibo the dog, a robotic pet developed by Sony long ago, has 'is paper provides a review, examining the premise of been the subject of behavioral studies . It was recently endowing robots with human rights. We investigate demonstrated at the AAAI-2020 conference. 'is was found scholarly sources from computer science, ethics, and law. very friendly by children and adults. 'e robotic dog was a Notable points in favor of this premise include the following: Journal of Robotics 9 robots. Further research on the points summarized (i) Modern day robots are autonomous beings with cognition and sentience (through silicone brains/ herewith for and against this premise would help make decisions. Research advances in related AI areas such as biochips) neural networks, deep learning, and common sense (ii) It is important to safeguard robots, similar to knowledge would shed further light on the matter. Such humans, so they can serve humankind better advances would unconditionally help robotics and (iii) Robots can be more ethical, law-abiding, and bias- humankind. free than some humans (who get unconditional human rights) Data Availability (iv) All robots are created equal, yet diﬀer individually, analogous to humans No data was used to support this study. (v) Contributions of robots in critical applications often Disclosure surpass those of humans Despite these points, many scientists and other pro- Some of this work occurred when Priya Persaud, Esq. was a fessionals still oppose human rights for robots. Notable Bachelor’s student at Montclair State University, with a points against the premise include the following: triple major, Computer Science, Political Science, and Jurisprudence. (i) 'ere are needy, underprivileged humans whose needs must be met before envisaging robot citizens Conflicts of Interest (ii) Many situations, for example, court cases, are too sensitive and need real humans only (so robots 'e authors declare that they have no conﬂicts of interest. cannot be our equals) (iii) Robots pose threats to human employment; thus, Acknowledgments giving them human rights may adversely aﬀect our Priya has been funded by the NSF GS-LSAMP grant pro- rights gram at Montclair State University. 'is work was supported (iv) Many robots still lack suﬃcient common sense in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant which is inherent in all humans CNS-2104742 and in part by the National Science Foun- (v) Animals have a real life while robots are basically dation under Grant CNS-2018575. We also thank Dr. Niket inanimate; thus, human rights for robots seem far- Tandon from the Allen Institute for Artiﬁcial Intelligence, fetched Seattle, WA, for his feedback on this work. (vi) In an extreme situation, robots might be responsible for the extinction of the human race References Given all these points, we take a neutral stand on human  J. G. Bruhn, “Beyond discipline: creating a culture for in- rights for robots, more on the negative side as of now. We terdisciplinary research,” Integrative Physiological and Be- make the following suggestions for the future that would havioral Science, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 331–341, 1995. shed more light on the premise:  W. Chang and S. Sabanovic, “Interaction expands function: social shaping of the robot PARO in a nursing home,” in (i) Scholars from computer science, ethics, and law Proceedings of the ACM HRI Conference, pp. 343–350, need to conduct joint work in the area for more Portland, OR, USA, March 2015. advances  J. C. Gellers, Rights for Robots: Artiﬁcial Intelligence, Animal and Environmental Law, Routlegde, England, UK, 2021. (ii) Enhanced research in neural networks and deep  G. Tirian, A. Nitescu, and C. Chioncel, “Design and con- learning is important to unveil the “black box” in struction of an autonomous mobile mini-sumo robot,” Bul- robotics letin of Engineering, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 117–120, 2015. (iii) Further research on common sense knowledge and  C. Salge and D. Polani, “Empowerment as a replacement for related areas for inclusion in robotics would be the three laws of robotics,” Frontiers in Robotics and AI, vol. 4, useful 2017.  W. Wallach, “Robot minds and human ethics: the need for (iv) Decisions need to be made on whether human a comprehensive model of moral decision making,” Ethics rights can be partially granted and revoked as and Information Technology, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 243–250, needed (v) It needs to be investigated whether robots can be  K. Warwick, D. Xydas, S. Nasuto et al., “Controlling a mobile between human and machine, to deﬁne rights robot with a biological brain,” Defence Science Journal, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 5–14, 2010. accordingly  W. Hu, H. Liao, P. Lo, and L. Wu, “Brain-controlled robot agent: Finally, an important question is Who would truly be an EEG based e-robot agent,” Industrial Robot: an International negatively impacted if robots do not get human rights? In Journal, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 507–519, 2008. this paper, we claim that this is by far the most signiﬁcant  E. Ackerman, E. Guizzo, and F. Shi, “Robots keep medical question on the premise of granting human rights to staﬀ safe at COVID-19 hospital,” IEEE Spectrum, New 10 Journal of Robotics York, NY, USA, 2020, https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/  A. Yates, R. Nogueira, and J. Lin, “Pretrained transformers for robotics/robotics-hardware/video-friday-ubtech-robots-covid- text ranking: BERTand beyond,” pp. 1154–1156, 2021, https:// 19-shenzhen-hospital. arxiv.org/abs/2010.06467.  L. Versenyi, “Can robots be moral?” Ethics, vol. 84, no. 3,  D. Glas, T. Minato, C. T. Ishi, T. Kawahara, and H. Ishiguro, pp. 248–259, 1974. “ERICA: the ERATO intelligent conversational android,” in  R. Tonkens, “Out of character: on the creation of virtuous Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), pp. 22–31, New machines,” Ethics and Information Technology, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 137–149, 2012. York, NY, USA, August 2016.  A. Singhvi and K. Russell, Inside the Self-Driving Tesla  B.-J. Crigger, “Where do moral decisions come from?” 6e Hastings Center Report, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 33–38, 1996. Fatal Accident, 'e New York Times, New York, NY, USA,  D. Davenport, “Moral mechanisms,” Philosophy and Tech- 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/07/01/ nology, vol. 27, pp. 47–60, 2014. business/inside-tesla-accident.html.  University of Reading, Robot with a Biological Brain, PhysOrg,  P. Persaud, A. Varde, and S. Robila, “Enhancing autonomous Reading, England, 2008, http://phys.org/news/2008-08-robot- vehicles with commonsense,” in Proceedings of the IEEE biological-brain-insights.html. ICTAI Conference, pp. 1008–1112, Boston, MA, USA, No-  A. Stikeman, “Biochips go big time,” MIT Tech Review, 2001. vember 2017.  P. McNally and S. Inayatullah, “'e rights of robots,” Futures,  S. Razniewski, N. Tandon, and A. Varde, “Information to vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 119–136, 1988. Wisdom: commonsense knowledge extraction and compila-  I. Harvey, “Evolving robot consciousness: the easy problems tion,” in Proceedings of the ACM WSDM Conference, and the rest,” in Consciousness Evolving, J. H. Fetzer, Ed., pp. 1143–1146, Jerusalem, Israel, March 2021. pp. 34–205, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2002.  A. Garg, N. Tandon, and A. S. Varde, “I Am guessing you can’t  B. Choi and S. Jo, “A low-cost EEG system-based hybrid recognize this: generating adversarial images for object de- brain-computer interface for humanoid robot navigation and tection using spatial commonsense (student abstract),” Pro- recognition,” PLoS One, vol. 8, no. 9, Article ID e74583, 2013. ceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artiﬁcial Intelligence,  “ACM code of ethics,” 2008, https://www.acm.org/about- vol. 34, no. 10, pp. 13789-13790, 2020. acm/acm-code-of-ethics-and-professional-conduct.  A. Pandey, M. Puri, and A. Varde, “Object detection with  “Declaration of independence,” 1776, http://www.archives. neural models, deep learning and common sense to aid smart gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html.1776. mobility,” in Proceedings of the IEEE ICTAI Conference,  'e United Nations, 6e Universal Declaration of Human pp. 859–863, Volos, Greece, November 2018. Rights, 'e United Nations, New York, NY, USA, 1948, http://  C. J. Conti, A. Varde, and W. Wang, “Robot action planning www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/. by commonsense knowledge in human-robot collaborative  E. Guizzo and R. Klett, How Robots Became Essential Workers tasks,” IEEE IEMTRONICS Conference, pp. 170–176, 2020. in the COVID-19 Response: Autonomous Machines Proved  P. Persaud and A. Varde, “Autonomous vehicle applications 6eir Worth in Hospitals, Oﬃces, and on City Streets, IEEE with common sense knowledge for smart cities,” Technical Spectrum, New York, NY, USA, 2020. report, NSF GS-LSAMP Program, Montclair State University,  K. Warwick and G. Mitchell, “When to give legal rights to Montclair, NJ, USA, 2017. AIs? when can they dream?” 6e National Law Review,  W. Wang, Y. Chen, R. Li, and Y. Jia, “Learning and comfort in vol. XI, 123 pages, 2021. human-robot interaction: a review,” Applied Sciences, vol. 9,  D. J. Calverley, “Android science and animal rights, does an no. 23, p. 5152, 2019. analogy exist?” Connection Science, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 403–417,  W. Wang, R. Li, Y. Chen, Z. M. Diekel, and Y. Jia, “Facilitating 2006. human–robot collaborative tasks by teaching-learning-col-  British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News, Police Oﬃcer laboration from human demonstrations,” IEEE Transactions Acquitted in Assault on Indian Grandfather, British Broad- on Automation Science and Engineering, vol. 16, no. 2, casting Corporation (BBC) News, London, UK, 2015, http:// pp. 640–653, 2018.  W. Wang, R. Li, Z. M. Diekel, Y. Chen, Z. Zhang, and Y. Jia, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35309224.  N. Tandon, A. Varde, and G. De Melo, “Commonsense “Controlling object hand-over in human-robot collaboration knowledge in machine intelligence,” ACM SIGMOD Record via natural wearable sensing,” IEEE Transactions on Human- Journal, vol. 46, no. 4, pp. 49–52, 2017. Machine Systems, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 59–71, 2019.  M. Ross, “'e world’s ﬁrst robot lawyer,” 2016, http://fortune.  W. Wang, Y. Chen, R. Li, Z. Zhang, V. Krovi, and Y. Jia, com/2016/05/12/robot-lawyer/. “Human-robot collaboration for advanced manufacturing by  R. Cellan-Jones, “Stephen Hawking warns AI could end learning from multi-modal human demonstrations,” Recent mankind,” 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology- Advances in Industrial Robotics, pp. 87–116, 2020. 30290540.  Y. Sun, W. Wang, Y. Chen, and Y. Jia, “Learn how to assist  M. James, “Here’s how Bill Gates’ plan to tax robots could humans through human teaching and robot learning in actually happen,” 2017, https://www.businessinsider.com/ human-robot collaborative assembly,” IEEE Transactions on bill-gates-robot-tax-brighter-future-2017-3. Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems, 2020.  P. Persaud, A. Varde, and I. Drake, “Common sense  V. G. Cerf, “Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic,” knowledge, humanoid robots and human rights,” in Pro- Communications of the ACM, vol. 63, no. 6, p. 7, 2020. ceedings of the IEEE MIT URTC 2016 Conference, Cambridge,  D. Karthikeyan, A. Varde, and W. Wang, “Transfer learning MA, USA, November 2016. for decision support in COVID-19 detection from a few  Y. LeCun, Y. Bengio, and G. Hinton, “Deep learning,” Nature, images in big data,” IEEE International Conference on Big vol. 521, no. 7553, pp. 436–444, 2015. Data, pp. 4873–4881, 2020.  A. Vaswani, N. Shazeer, N. Parmar et al., “Attention is all you  I. D. Apostolopoulos and T. A. Mpesiana, “COVID-19: au- need,” 2017, https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.03762. tomatic detection from X-ray images utilizing transfer Journal of Robotics 11 learning with convolutional neural networks,” Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 635–640,  “Sophia (robot),” 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophia_ (robot).  A. Kerepesi, E. Kubinyi, G. K. Jonsson, M. S. Magnusson, and A. Miklosi, ´ “Behavioural comparison of human-animal (dog) and human-robot (AIBO) interactions,” Behavioural Pro- cesses, vol. 73, no. 1, pp. 92–99, 2006.
Journal of Robotics – Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Published: Sep 28, 2021
Access the full text.
Sign up today, get DeepDyve free for 14 days.