Gunkel on The Rights of Robots

David J. Gunkel (Northern Illinois University) has posted “The Rights of Robots” (in A. A. Nakagawa and C. Douzinas (Eds.), Non-Human Rights: Critical Perspectives, Edward Elgar) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Robot rights is already in play and operational from the moment the robot appeared on the stage of history. And the question “Can or should robots have rights?” is currently the site of a contentious debate. This chapter engages in an analysis of the terms and conditions of the dispute. It therefore does not take sides in the existing conflict by advocating for one position over and against the other. Instead identifies and critically evaluates the common set of shared values and fundamental assumptions that both sides already endorse and support in order to enter into conflict in the first place. And it does so in order to devise an alternative strategy that may be better suited to responding to and taking responsibility for the moral and legal opportunities or challenges that we currently confront in the face or the faceplate of robots, AI, and other seemingly intelligent artifacts.