Robots will have rights

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that the future is left to us. When I started writing in magazines back in 1994, my first text about cinema already asked “where are the ships?”. 28 years have passed since then and the human has still not managed to develop technologies such as a flying car or any of the many that promised to make our lives easier.

It must be considered that the first science fiction novels were published in the 17th century and that by the 20th century the boom of science fiction films with the appearance of the first film of this genre, trip to the moon by George Melies. We are talking about four centuries of unfulfilled or half-fulfilled promises.

Within popular culture we can take as an example The Jetsons, the 1962 cartoon that helped shape the idea that many of us still have of a possible future. A comedy of situations where a family from the future solved all their domestic problems with technological solutions as simple as pressing a button. It was through this animated series that several generations became familiar with the idea of ​​having a robot to assist us in various tasks.

But the romance with the future is over and now it is urgent to legislate. The development in robotics and artificial intelligence, coupled with the risks that we still do not know about these technologies, generates uncertainty about the application of the legal framework and other ethical issues. As explained by Dr. Nathalie Rébé in Artificial Intelligence: Robot Law, Policy and Ethicsby creating conscious robots with physical and decision-making capabilities, they would also have to be assigned a legal personality to answer for their actions.

The advancement of these new technologies forces us to reconsider the role that artificial intelligence will have within our society. Sectors such as education, transportation, work, sex, health care, military and security will be particularly affected by the development of robots, explains Rébé in his research.

We don’t have to travel to the future to realize that the automation process that several companies have already started in these sectors is leaving thousands of people without work. According to Professor Frank Pasquale, author of the book New Laws of Roboticsinnovations do not always work for the good of humanity: “almost always, the goal of artificial intelligence is to replace humans, for example, by creating a robot doctor or a robot teacher”.

But there is also a legal vacuum regarding the rights that robots could acquire by assigning them a legal personality. There is already talk of preventing a new form of slavery where robots would be exploited for work and sexually. In fact, the subject of sex is the one that raises the most questions: could robots serve as sexual slaves? What relevance will gender issues have? What about consent? How to stop pedophilia in these cases? This controversy over sextech was revived on social networks by an article that The Sun posted in 2015 and a 2017 video of the sexbot Harmony 2.1 created by the company Realbotix.

Perhaps because humans -and specifically men- are too predictable, but the sexualized image of a robot dates practically from the beginning of science fiction cinema with the classic metropolis by Fritz Lang from 1927. From then until now, man has not stopped questioning the possibility of having a sexual, or even sentimental, relationship with a robot. Movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show Y Demon Seed In the 70s, bladerunner Y Cherry 2000 in the 80s, until landing in the 2000s with AI Artificial Intelligence by Steven Spielberg have explored this theme.

And now that forecasts ensure that we are getting closer to robots becoming an everyday reality, a new wave of movies and series is emerging that address the same theme. This week premiered in Mexico The perfect man (Ich bin dein Mensch), the production that Germany sent for the Oscar for Best International Film. At the same time, series like Westworld Y Raised by Wolves (even for children as Doug Unplugs) and movies like After-Yang Y The Trouble With Being Born they force us to ask ourselves, more seriously, where ethics is in all this.

“Decisions about who or what counts as a ‘person’ should not be taken lightly. If we decide to consider digital systems as ‘people’, we will also have to decide if they are going to have legal or political rights”, explains Jamie Susskind, author of the book The Digital Republic. “We live in a world where the most powerful computer systems can discuss politics; they can flirt, tease, and manipulate; and they can advise on mental health, relationships or the law.”

And all this can already be seen in the news. Just last month, Google suspended an engineer after he Washington Post published an article where he claimed that the company already had “sensitive” technology. On the other hand, the magazine cosmopolitan unveiled its first cover made by the artificial intelligence known as DALL-E, and the world was shocked when Amazon announced that its virtual assistant, Alexa, could speak with the voice of deceased relatives. And it is that for years we thought that science fiction only lived in books and movies, when in fact they have served as a showcase of what is to come.

BRIEF

we rescue Bigbug from the Netflix catalog because they are robots and a family from the future that, unlike The Jetsons, they are unable to solve their problems but rather become more enslaved to technology. It is an acid comedy, although not for all tastes if they have in mind amelie from the same director.

The schedule has been announced 41st International Film Forum of the Cineteca Nacional with titles such as brave flash, the big move Y Cave. From July 14 to 31. More information on its official site cinetecanacional.net.

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