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Christopher Hampson

Director of Content Development, The Veritas Forum

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Will robots one day cross the line into humanity?

As we develop robots with functionalities that more and more closely resemble humanity, will they ever become indistinguishable? What would this mean for things like human rights or religious belief?

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Closing Statement from Christopher Hampson

Sounds like the weight of respondents was for "no," both in theory and in practice. This could be because the mechanism of robotics doesn't allow for humanlike characteristics, such as "free will," or it could be because the mechanism requires too much in the way of input.

In either case, it looks like the most drastic thing we have to look forward to are robots that give a very strong appearance of humanity.

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  • Jul 5 2011: This question rests on two premises:

    A) Humans are essentially machines, 100% predictable in every way
    B) Humans contain a self-consciousness and freewill that somehow exists outside of the physical/chemical world

    If you belief A then theoretically this could be possible. If however you believe B, than machines will never be able to have self-awareness and freewill, they will only be able to mimic it.

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