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NH 2 01100110111010000 HOH H Law and Order: BPU (BioPolitics Unit) Prof. Linda Glenn and Prof. Linda Glenn and Dr. Jeanann Boyce Irvine, CA Dec. 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "NH 2 01100110111010000 HOH H Law and Order: BPU (BioPolitics Unit) Prof. Linda Glenn and Prof. Linda Glenn and Dr. Jeanann Boyce Irvine, CA Dec. 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 NH HOH H Law and Order: BPU (BioPolitics Unit) Prof. Linda Glenn and Prof. Linda Glenn and Dr. Jeanann Boyce Irvine, CA Dec. 2009

2 NH HOH H 2 Linda MacDonald Glenn, JD, LLM Linda MacDonald Glenn, JD, LLM Assistant Professor, Albany Medical Center, Alden March Bioethics InstituteAssistant Professor, Albany Medical Center, Alden March Bioethics Institute JD, LL.M. in Biomedical Ethics from McGill University, Montreal, CanadaJD, LL.M. in Biomedical Ethics from McGill University, Montreal, Canada Senior Fellow Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Senior Fellow Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Women’s Bioethics Project ScholarWomen’s Bioethics Project Scholar In a former life, trial lawyer and advocate.In a former life, trial lawyer and advocate.

3 NH HOH H Dr. Jeanann Boyce Dr. Jeanann Boyce Professor of Computer Science at Montgomery College. Professor of Computer Science at Montgomery College. Member of Robotics International, Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Member of Robotics International, Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Teaches AI programming and Information Systems, ED representative to District of Columbia Engineering & Architectural Societies Teaches AI programming and Information Systems, ED representative to District of Columbia Engineering & Architectural Societies Developed and implemented first Ethics in the Information Age courses at University of Maryland University College and Montgomery College Developed and implemented first Ethics in the Information Age courses at University of Maryland University College and Montgomery College

4 NH HOH H Challenges Expansion of Legal and Ethical Definitions of the Person in a Technical Environment (“Evolving Notions of Personhood”)Expansion of Legal and Ethical Definitions of the Person in a Technical Environment (“Evolving Notions of Personhood”)

5 NH HOH H Divergent Paths of Intelligence- Hardware, Software, Human Three Overlapping Areas of Evolution Sentient Machines (AI)Sentient Machines (AI) Disembodied Entities (Avatars)Disembodied Entities (Avatars) Human Technogenics (or Cyborgs)Human Technogenics (or Cyborgs)

6 NH HOH H The NBIC Report Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology, and Cognitive Science NSF/DOC-sponsored report June 2002 Arlington, Virginia

7 NH HOH H Improving work efficiency and learningImproving work efficiency and learning Enhancing sensory and cognitive capabilitiesEnhancing sensory and cognitive capabilities Revolutionary changes in healthcareRevolutionary changes in healthcare Enhancing human capabilities for military purposesEnhancing human capabilities for military purposes Nanotechnology-based implantsNanotechnology-based implants Brain-to-brain and brain- to-machine interfacesBrain-to-brain and brain- to-machine interfaces Some anticipated NIBC payoffs (pp. ix-xi)

8 NH HOH H Human Intelligence Augmentation to keep up with AIto keep up with AI

9 NH HOH H Subvocal Communication Telepathy-likeTelepathy-like Voice to earVoice to ear Electronic modulesElectronic modules

10 NH HOH H Robot Rights Which minds have which rights and responsibilities?Which minds have which rights and responsibilities? Engineering slave minds vs.Engineering slave minds vs. Flourishing minds, but within social limits?Flourishing minds, but within social limits? Many issues of this nature covered in Breakpoint, Richard ClarkeMany issues of this nature covered in Breakpoint, Richard Clarke

11 NH HOH H Sex and Marriage with Robots? First, AI has to attain the status of legal personhood before any such thing as marriage (or any other contractual relationship for that matter) is recognized. Secondly, What do humans owe “purpose- built” machines who begin to reach awareness, or to so resemble awareness that it becomes a selling point? Thirdly, would these robots be sentient -- capable of experience pleasure and pain. Issue: act of creating potentially sentient beings carries with it the corresponding responsibility for their actions and for the impact on the human community, act of creating potentially sentient beings carries with it the corresponding responsibility for their actions and for the impact on the human community,

12 NH HOH H Humans and Persons All humans are persons BUT, the law says…All humans are persons BUT, the law says… All “persons” are NOT humans...for example, corporations, municipalities, even ships have been granted status as persons by the US Supreme Court All “persons” are NOT humans...for example, corporations, municipalities, even ships have been granted status as persons by the US Supreme Court

13 NH HOH H Criteria for Personhood? All Living ThingsAll Living Things ConsciousnessConsciousness SentienceSentience –Peter Singer & Tom Regan Self-AwarenessSelf-Awareness RationalityRationality –Descartes

14 NH HOH H Current Legal Spectrum U.S. Supreme Court cases provide a spectrum:U.S. Supreme Court cases provide a spectrum: “Natural” Persons (e.g. aliens, minors, illegitimate) to“Natural” Persons (e.g. aliens, minors, illegitimate) to “Juridical” Persons (e.g., corporations, labor unions, municipalities, government units.“Juridical” Persons (e.g., corporations, labor unions, municipalities, government units. No current legislative or statutory definitionNo current legislative or statutory definition

15 NH HOH H Property – Personhood Dichotomy in Law Property – Personhood Dichotomy in Law Historically, nonhuman animals have been considered “property”,Historically, nonhuman animals have been considered “property”, Slaves, women, and children were regarded as mere chattel until mid-to-late 1800’s and early 1900’sSlaves, women, and children were regarded as mere chattel until mid-to-late 1800’s and early 1900’s Yet, nonhumans entities, such as corporations and ships have been recognized and given rights as “persons”Yet, nonhumans entities, such as corporations and ships have been recognized and given rights as “persons”

16 NH HOH H Major Cases Toy Biz CaseToy Biz Case Jack O’Lantern caseJack O’Lantern case

17 NH HOH H What the Courts have said… The U.S. Court of International Trade, in Toy Biz, Inc. v. United States in tariff disputeThe U.S. Court of International Trade, in Toy Biz, Inc. v. United States in tariff dispute U.S. Customs classified the action figures as dolls representing only human beings.U.S. Customs classified the action figures as dolls representing only human beings. Toy Biz argued that the action figures were toys or non-human creatures (i.e. robots and monsters).Toy Biz argued that the action figures were toys or non-human creatures (i.e. robots and monsters). The Court held that the action figures did not represent human beings because they had ‘robotic’ features or ‘monster-like’ features.The Court held that the action figures did not represent human beings because they had ‘robotic’ features or ‘monster-like’ features.

18 NH HOH H Identity and Rights Jack-O-Lantern case – US Supreme Court 1922Jack-O-Lantern case – US Supreme Court 1922 'In rebuilding operations the test is whether the identity of the vessel has continued, or has been extinguished…'In rebuilding operations the test is whether the identity of the vessel has continued, or has been extinguished… This court has not undertaken and will not now essay to announce rigid definitions of repairs and new construction; but we do not accept the suggestion that the two things can be accurately differentiated by consideration of the ultimate use to which the vessel is to be devoted.This court has not undertaken and will not now essay to announce rigid definitions of repairs and new construction; but we do not accept the suggestion that the two things can be accurately differentiated by consideration of the ultimate use to which the vessel is to be devoted. Held despite extensive repairs, identity remained the sameHeld despite extensive repairs, identity remained the same

19 NH HOH H Legal and Ethical Considerations While the law is well-equipped to hold an autonomous individual culpable for his or her actions, the law is not so well designed for such systems.While the law is well-equipped to hold an autonomous individual culpable for his or her actions, the law is not so well designed for such systems. These emerging technologies presents a unique challenge for the legal profession to help shape policy, since the technology is cutting-edge and statutes, case law, or law journals are usually written after the fact.These emerging technologies presents a unique challenge for the legal profession to help shape policy, since the technology is cutting-edge and statutes, case law, or law journals are usually written after the fact.

20 NH HOH H Some Ethical/legal Issues in Converging Tech we are likely to face over the next 25 years Privacy, confidentiality Informed consent (Artificial Research Subjects) Augmentation: Enhancement vs. therapeutic Cognitive Liberty Emotions, competence, & autonomy Capability and culpability (proportional autonomy) Synthetic humans: are they persons or property? Issues of justice and equity (the “digital divide”)

21 NH HOH H Legal and Ethical Considerations One of the questions facing our courts will be: where do the rights of an autonomous system begin, assuming that an individual is an inherent part of that autonomous system?One of the questions facing our courts will be: where do the rights of an autonomous system begin, assuming that an individual is an inherent part of that autonomous system? Whether using a property-personhood dichotomy or property-person continuum, the rights of the individual may change when the human performance of the individual is enhanced by machine or other technology. Whether using a property-personhood dichotomy or property-person continuum, the rights of the individual may change when the human performance of the individual is enhanced by machine or other technology. This raises issues about privacy, autonomy, and culpability.This raises issues about privacy, autonomy, and culpability.

22 NH HOH H Property-Personhood Continuum (Proposed Legal Paradigm) Property (Inanimate Objects) Full Personhood (Attendant rights & responsibilities) Quasi-property (Chimeric Humanoids) Fetuses Embryos Ex Utero CyborgsAndroidsA/I Negative Liberties Biotechnology at the Margins of Personhood: An Evolving Legal Paradigm, J. of Evolution and Technology Cognitively impaired

23 NH HOH H Recommendations and Conclusions The establishment of a common lexicon between policy makers, implementation agents, and multidisciplinary users for terms such as ‘autonomous’The establishment of a common lexicon between policy makers, implementation agents, and multidisciplinary users for terms such as ‘autonomous’ The establishment of new lexicon for the new relationships that are being created as result of new technologies, with thoughtful consideration to the impact on current informed consent policy.The establishment of new lexicon for the new relationships that are being created as result of new technologies, with thoughtful consideration to the impact on current informed consent policy. The possibility of legal reform and the creation of specialized science courts, where the judges will have ongoing education and training to recognize and deal with these new legal issues and categories that arise from emerging technologies.The possibility of legal reform and the creation of specialized science courts, where the judges will have ongoing education and training to recognize and deal with these new legal issues and categories that arise from emerging technologies.

24 NH HOH H A Double Edged Sword “Technology has always been a double-edged sword, empowering both our creative and our destructive natures. It has brought us longer and healthier lives, freedom from physical and mental drudgery, and many new creative possibilities. Yet it has also introduced new and salient dangers…Stalin’s tanks and Hitler’s trains used technology. And we still live today with sufficient nuclear weapons—not all of which appear to be well accounted for—to end all mammalian life on the planet.” – Ray Kurzweil

25 NH HOH H Thank you for your attention! For further info, references contact us at further info, references contact us at


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