Legal Personhood for Robots: A Stupid Idea
I suppose it’s natural that we would have this debate, but that doesn’t mean it’s not stupid. If we ever get to the point where synthetic intelligence begins exhibiting signs of volition and experience, well then let’s talk about this stuff. But right now, it’s just fuzzy, futuristic thinking that will only serve to diminish corporate responsibility for products and services.
“By adopting legal personhood, we are going to erase the responsibility of manufacturers,” said Nathalie Navejans, a French law professor at the Université d’Artois, who was the driving force behind the letter.
Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, who also signed on, added that by seeking legal personhood for robots, manufacturers were merely trying to absolve themselves of responsibility for the actions of their machines.