News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Eventually, robots will have to be given legal rights (and accept certain responsibilities) if advances in artificial intelligence (AI) continue to create sensitive quasi-organisms, according to a paper solicited for Sir David King, the UK’s chief scientist. According to one AI researcher, “If (robots are) granted full rights, states will be obligated to provide full social benefits to them including income support, housing and possibly robo-healthcare to fix the machines over time.” A December Financial Times report on the paper noted that robots might also have to pay taxes and be available for military service. (Some of the ideas in the paper track visions described years ago by writer Isaac Asimov.)
Many voters, and critics in both parties, chided the “do-nothing” 109th Congress (2005-2006) as a body tied up in partisanship and divisiveness. However, the Congress did manage to pass 383 pieces of legislation, except that almost 100 of those laws were merely authorizations to name post offices and other federal structures after famous Americans (such as Ray Charles, Ava Gardner and Karl Malden).
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