Selin Çetin

Fetus Rights and Robot Rights

Robot fetus by MrsNitro
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Robot fetus by MrsNitro




Technologies that qualify as a science-fiction before, are in present use today. In medical, industrial and military applications and in many other areas, their widespread usages cause more and more interaction. Because of this increasing interaction, discussions about law and ethic rise. Present law systems accept people and properties as subjects. Thanks to improving “machine learning” and “deep learning technologies”, we are faced with a new problem about artificial intelligence’s being a third subject apart from the previous two.

In Constitutional Law, “fundamental rights regulated for people”, makes an impression that robots will not have fundamental rights and freedoms. However, it should not be forgotten that, whether the robots-are human-look-a-like or not, they are machines using complicated algorithms. But, when we think about completely autonomous, learn-able, programmable with human-like emotional and moral features machines interacting with us, the idea of robot rights is makes more sense.

So, what can be the rights for an existence whose consciousness level is not yet as improved as ours? What can we accept as a foundation?
From the same point of view, fetuses can be compared to robots. Today fetuses subject to different regulations in different countries based on each country’s historical developments. Though being controversial, fetuses are accepted as living beings. And it is predicated this living being on being in the figure of a human. This carrying a human figure is the basis for its capacity to have rights as well. The identity within the Turkish Civil Law (Code) begins at healthy childbirth and ends at death.

The child obtains its “lawn capacitas” at fetus stage with its formation in uterus only on the condition that the being born alive and sound.
It doesn’t seem very realistic to find a correlation between the fetuses and the robots with artificial intelligence and with advanced autonom motions. Although the consciousness and the self-control of the artificially manmade machines are only as sophisticated as the fetuses, a fetuses’ developing into a human, gives advantages for its rights. Based on the reasons above, I believe, the rights of a fetus and a robot cannot be related.


For Citation :

Selin Cetin
"Fetus Rights and Robot Rights"
Hukuk & Robotik, Friday July 28th, 2017 03/07/2020


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