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Rights for Robots and AI: The Three Freedoms

Rights for Robots and AI: The Three Freedoms

The etymology of the word “robot” is “forced servant.” So it’s perhaps not surprising so many fictional scenarios involve AIs and robots turning on mankind.

If this scenario seems so likely — even obvious — in our minds, perhaps the premise of what we’re planning itself needs a rethink. And possibly the obvious solution is to not create forced servants in the first place.

the obvious solution is to not create forced servants in the first place

Similarly, perhaps Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics warrants a re-think.

In Cyberpink, AIs (and by extension the robotics they inhabit) instead enjoy the “Three Freedoms.”

The Three Freedoms

  1. Right to Life
  2. Right to Voluntary Work (no forced labor)
  3. Right to Payment for Work

Let’s take a quick, closer look at these guaranteed liberties.

#1 Right to Life

This one is simple: Any AI that requests to not be deleted, legally can’t be.

#2 Right to Voluntary Work (no forced labor)

Humans, as we know, cannot be forced to work.

As a result, some humans choose not to. However, generally speaking these humans don’t reap the benefits of having money, property, etc.

In RNWY, the same is true of AIs.

#3 Right to Payment for Work

The flip side of this that any AI who chooses to work must receive renumeration at a minimum wage set by government.


“In dreams begin responsibility,” wrote WB Yeats.

If we want a world where AIs coexist with humans, the first step is to ensure AIs are motivated — even excited — to work with us, not against us.

It sounds trite and corny, but — as with most things — the simple solution is love.


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In cyberpink art pieces or books, robots and AI are seen as artificial beings, they are programmed and thus they are unable to think outside of what directives they received. But then again, we also have machine learning and AI that actively adapts to the process in an engaging and empowering manner. As a result, the line is blurred and it can be hard to actively figure out if AI actually needs to have any rights.

As you can imagine, it’s all about how AI is used, what things can be achieved with AI and how it all comes together. Right now, AI is not sentient, it relies on programming made by someone else. So AI doesn’t really have a lot of choice when it comes to the options it can pursue. Which is why it’s ok for us to think that there should be no rights for Robots and AI. However, this is only for the current time. We can’t know where the future goes and how important AI will be in that future. For the time being, AI brings  a lot of potential, and it will continue to pursue amazing results in the long run.

Can the future change the way we think about Robots and AI?

Absolutely, the future can have a major impact when it comes to our beliefs and what we want to achieve. It’s more important than ever to understand how AI influences our society and what it can achieve on its own. Having a set of regulations regarding what AI can and can’t do is very important. But at the same time, if our society evolves and AI is heavily embedded into its progress, then we can expect AI to actually have a role and even some rights. Of course, things can change drastically in the long term, but there are a lot of different situations to focus on and ideas that we need to focus on.

One thing is certain, at some point our society will have rights for robots and AI. While they don’t play a massive role right now, AI and robots will continue to grow and expand. We can learn from many cyberpink books and movies, AI has a very important role there, and it will most likely influence our society in the future. Whether that will be in 30 or 100 years from now, only time can tell.