19 July, 2017
Artificial Intelligence And The Overwhelming Question Of Human Rights
The perceived sanctity of human life and the hierarchical superiority of the human race are the two anchors that hold together the civilized world. Human beings have historically been assumed to be at the top of the evolutionary chain, and although there may be creatures that are faster and stronger, none can quite surpass our creational brilliance. But what happens to this established consensus when we bring in beings that are admittedly lifeless but perhaps morally and intellectually superior to the human race? Lots of chaos, according to the human rights activists of today.
There are a lot of questions posed by the entry of sentient robots into the world of living creatures. Perhaps the most important of them is, does artificial intelligence pose a threat to human rights as we know it? We all know of the economic risks posed by the entry of robots in the employment market. To top it over, we have robots that are already entering the controversial fields of psychology, healthcare, law enforcement and even administration, leading to some serious questions with regards to privacy and the individual rights of a human being. Will artificial intelligence outmaneuver humans out of their own game? Will they take over the world, so to speak, but perhaps in less melodramatic terms? As Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, aptly puts it, “there are huge possibilities and benefits to be gained from artificial intelligence if human rights is a core design and use principle of this technology”.