30 November 2017

From Responsible Robotics towards New Human Rights Protections

New article argues that a rethink of human rights might be necessary to meet AI challenges

The advent of artificial intelligence and robotics have spurred ethical debates surrounding the development and deployment of these emerging technologies. What constitutes ethical behaviour of these machines has become a particular focus of efforts on this front, with the Foundation for Responsible Robotics as a leading voice in the discussions.

This article engages with the Foundation for Responsible Robotics (in a Special Issue on Responsible Robotics) by first developing the underlying concepts of responsibility that should guide such efforts. The article then moves to propose that a complementary system of human rights is necessary to fully realise the Responsible Robotics initiative. In particular, the article argues that the orientation of human rights in the context of robotic and artificial intelligence may need to move beyond protecting the human and towards fostering human flourishing instead. As such, a revamp of human rights law might be necessary to leap-frog the violation-identification-litigation-remedy process of gradual rights development and refinement that has traditionally guided human rights law formation.

This article aims to spark a discussion as to the roles that responsibility and human rights law should play in guiding the development of robotics and artificial intelligence, so hopefully it will be a small step in this direction.

The article is available here