TED Conversations

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?


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: Sadly, humanity has already crossed the line into robots, our collective lack of love, kindness & compassion for each other and the environment means that robots already face serious competition from robotic behaviour of Humans. If robots "show emotions" than they will definitely be labelled as traditional, uncivilised and in urgent need for democratic modernisation and reforms. We might even enjoy daily robotic dose of "Spot the Robot", humans obediently following a robotic work life whilst ignoring the human needs of their families, communities and nations.

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