Down goes HotBot 4b into the volcano. The year is 2050 or 2150, and artificial intelligence has advanced sufficiently that such robots can be built with human-grade intelligence, creativity and desires. HotBot will now perish on this scientific mission. Does it have rights? In commanding it to go down, have we done something morally wrong?
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Eric Schwitzgebel is professor of philosophy at University of California, Riverside. He blogs at The Splintered Mind and his latest book is Perplexities of Consciousness (2011).