Monday, November 05, 2007

You were made for me

Want to HAve sex with your robot? Or, if you are more traditional, how about marriage? Some predict that you'll be able to do the latter in Massachusetts by the year 2050.

My first reaction was can I get one that looks like ...


My second was to wonder what purpose of marriage would be served by making a covenant with something that can be programmed to do or not to do whatever you want? But if marriage is about sanctification of your choice, I suppose so.

My third reaction might have been that this is all so silly, but then, perusing the programs for the January meeting of the American Association of Law Schools, I saw that one of the programs available to me is a panel on the "Margins of Legal Personhood" sponsored by the Section on Jurisprudence. I expected the discussion to be about animals and fetuses and they are in there, but there's more:

This panel explores those “entities” that lie at the boundaries of legal personhood. Specifically, how should the law treat animals, artificial intelligence, fetuses, and psychopaths? And do our views about how to treat one entity commit us to similar treatment of another? For instance, do our views about the treatment of animals inform our understanding of abortion? If we would not hold artificial intelligence criminally responsible, does the same reasoning hold for psychopaths? During this panel, each speaker will discuss one of these “entities” and then the panelists will engage in a discussion of the connections between their theories.

The inclusion of psychopaths gives me a start, but that's another issue. Are all robots created equal? I'll tell you in January.

H/T: David Wagner

1 comment:

Christian Schneider said...

If you really want to know what it's like to be married to something that can be programmed to do or not to do whatever you want, you may want to talk to my wife.