First: assume society is as it is today, British common law
Many “stories” try to package AI as citizens (DATA of Star Trek, Sonny of I Robot). They manipulate society to make AI fit with some certain directives.
This is not that question.
- This is NOT asking how to make AGI into citizens. A simple law does that, it’s not the question I asked.
Laws of society can only grant rights if there is some means to remedy the violation of the right. For example, a law that protects a human’s right to breathe water can’t be tried in court even if some human finds out they can’t breathe water. The law simply can not possibly “fix” the thing that’s been “taken” from you - an impossible ability to breathe water. That is a ridiculous example, I know, but ridiculous laws do happen. The point is, simply saying you have a “right” to this or that doesn’t create the legal right. The legal right to have anything only exists when some way exists to repay you when it is lost (a remedy). The law originated in Roman law as ubi jus ibi remedium, “where there is a right, there is a remedy”, and remains in effect today. A real-world example: we have a right to have our credit information accurately reported. This law is called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). But even if the credit company gives false information about your credit, the court can’t protect you. Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins (2016) ruled that even though misleading figures were published by the credit card company, the plaintiff could not show that they actually lost anything from inaccurate or incomplete information in their credit reports. There is no right to relief until you have actually “lost” something.
- I am not asking how to change any laws to accommodate current AI.
Because AI is not AGI. This is about designing a fictional Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), and answering what “ingredient” - for lack of a better word - would afford it rights under existing common law: Let’s assume we invent the asked fictional AGI, and we put them into a mechanical body. Now let’s assume a group lobbies and passes a law that makes it illegal to willfully dismember and destroy the AGI, and treat such an act as a “wrongful death.” They classify this as a crime just like it would be for a human (because again, no laws are changed)
When an AGI is destroyed, someone claiming a relationship to it wants the system to prosecute for wrongful death. Well, there clearly exists a “wrongful death” law in the books because it was passed. But the judge’s first job is to decide if some remedy exists to what was “lost.” This means the judge has to be convinced that at first, the AGI even had a right to life before asking if a life has been lost.
So the question: If an AGI is a computer program, and computer programs can be and are backed up and saved regularly, so effectively they can only be lost by deliberate manipulation of the server; does a computer program have a “right to life?”
What about our world (specifically, about the qualities of an AGI in this world) needs to be changed
to give algorithms and programs a right to life, that could be recognized and fairly remedied in a human justice system? (Answers do not need to fix the problem, the question only asks what needs fixing)
Emphasis again, I don’t believe our real world could possibly argue for the right of an artificial construct to exist, as they currently exist. The question tries to pin down what would need to be different so that it could (by changing the AGI, or maybe the environment - anything except the basic principles of jurisprudence)
I can’t state this enough. This question is NOT asking about current AI or anything existing today.
It’s a fictional AGI that can fit into our society; why does it fit? (e.g., because it can reciprocate?)